The Healing Notes Foundation Announces $100,000 Commitment to North Star Reach

The Healing Notes Foundation recently announced its $100,000 commitment to North Star Reach, the medical specialty camp for children with serious illnesses and their family members outside of Ann Arbor. The gift supports an exciting new music and drama program, with a focus on harnessing the power of music and drama to help children cope with the challenges of living with a serious medical condition and to discover new possibilities about themselves.

“Our mission is to provide comfort, hope and inspiration for children and families dealing with serious illnesses,” says Mark McManus, Jr., Founder of The Healing Notes Foundation. “We are thrilled to provide support that will allow even more opportunities for North Star Reach to offer positive experiences to kids and families in need.”

“We are tremendously honored to collaborate with The Healing Notes Foundation to help to grow our creative programming,” says North Star Reach’s Outreach and Family Liaison Specialist Jessica Doletzky, a Certified Child Life Specialist and Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. “Music and drama are central to the traditional camp experiences we offer kids living with serious and chronic illnesses. This partnership will allow us to offer these programs in exciting new and inclusive ways.”

“It is our goal that our gift serves to expand upon existing programming, and to grow and inspire new music and drama programming for years to come,” says Jessica G. Persichini, Director of The Healing Notes Foundation. “We hope that as campers grow and move throughout their lives, that the songs created and sung around NSR campfires will leave lasting impressions of healing, hope, triumph, and inspiration.”

Opened in the summer of 2016, North Star Reach is the only camp of its kind serving children with a diverse range of complex medical needs and their families in the Great Lakes Region, all at no charge. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the camp has continued to provide innovative, cost-free virtual programs to campers and their families during a time when they are especially isolated and in need of community and connection.

Ali with Jacob, a NSR camper

Two summers ago, Detroit-born artist Ali McManus performed during a North Star Reach session for teen campers. During that event, she talked about her lifelong passion for music and the release of her debut album “Unbreakable” in 2018, which features lyrics informed by a lifetime of facing significant health challenges. “Music has been my greatest healer,” says Ali. “I hope that my songs and my message will help campers to adopt a spirit that can’t be broken.”

In 2021, North Star Reach will offer an exciting lineup of virtual programming, including new arts and drama activities, with on-site programs beginning as soon as it is safe to bring campers back to the Pinckney campus. We hope you enjoy this short video about the inspiration behind our exciting new partnership.