You are here

Stories from North Star Reach

Listen to teenage campers, counselors and staff share stories about the impact camp has had on their lives.

North Star Reach is a medically-supported camp on 105-acres in Pinckney, Michigan, serving children with serious health challenges and their families. Since 2016, through activity-packed residential summer camp and weekend spring and fall family camp programs, we have hosted more than 1,500 campers, including children living with sickle cell anemia, congenital heart disorders, and organ transplants. We are a not-for-profit organization dependent upon generous donors to serve all children at no cost to their families. To learn more about North Star Reach, visit www.northstarreach.org.

Free and open to the public. 

Readers include...

Marisa Hamet, 16, will be a junior at Flat Rock Community High School this fall, where she will enter the Health Occupations program. A liver transplant recipient, she received her gift of life 15 years ago at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. She plans to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatric physician when she enters college in two years. For the past nine summers, she has attended the University of Michigan Transplant Center’s Camp Michitanki (which is now part of North Star Reach) and plans to return as a camp counselor. She enjoys participating in Church and school activities and spending time with her friends. In addition, she’s an avid reader—bookstores are her favorite place on Earth (next to camp!). 

 Zoey Hinz, 16, is a junior at Warren Mott High School. A longtime camper at Camp Michitanki/North Star Reach, she was also the poster child for the University of Michigan’s Galens Medical Society Tag Days fundraiser in 2009, when she was six. She loves to play video games, draw and spend time with her dog Marley and her two pet rats. She also loves to ride horses when she can. She is thinking about being a camp counselor and would like to work with animals when she gets older.

 Anna Laschiazza, 17, is a senior at Minooka Community High School in Illinois. A liver transplant recipient as an infant, she has attended Camp Michitanki/North Star Reach the past nine summers. She plays travel softball in her free time and really enjoys painting and being outside. She loves summer camp and plans to return as a counselor once she’s old enough. Her future plans include going to college and traveling the world.

 Skyler Moomey, 17, is a senior at Zeeland West High School in Michigan. He has attended North Star Reach the past two summers and hopes to return as a counselor. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball. In the future, he wants to start his own business. He also hopes to continue speaking publicly about living with epilepsy.

Laine Richards, 17, is a senior at East Grand Rapids High School. She attended North Star Reach’s “Summer Solstice” teen camp for the first time this summer. She is also an alumnus of the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan’s “Camp Discovery,” which she attended for three summers. Passionate about advocating for epilepsy awareness, she has raised more than $20,000 for the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, lobbied on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. for the last three years as part of Teens Speak Up, participated in press conferences at the state capitol in Lansing advocating for epilepsy causes, spoken at several Foundation events and has conducted multiple media interviews. She is also passionate about working with special needs children and has done so in her school district for the last five years. She hopes to attend Michigan State University next year, where she’ll major in Special Education. In her spare time, she loves to read, travel and play with her German Shepherd dog, Hazel. 

 Dominic Weber, 17, is a senior at the International Academy West Campus in White Lake Township, Michigan. Born with a congenital heart condition, he was fortunate to have first attended a medically-supported camp before North Star Reach opened, through a program called “Camp on the Move,” which allowed him travel to another SeriousFun Children’s Network camp in North Carolina when he was 11 and 12. He has attended North Star Reach the past four summers and hopes to serve as a counselor in the future. In addition, he’s very active in Scouts and is currently working toward achieving Eagle Scout Rank. He also loves music, plays piano every Sunday with his church choir, and enjoys skiing and water sports. He plans to pursue a career in biomedical engineering and hopes to help develop medical devices and techniques so others may benefit, as he has, from advancements in medical technology.

Event date: 
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
124 E. Washington St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104