BOISE, Idaho — In team sports, championships are won when all the right pieces are put in place. It takes skill, talent, dedication, hard work and chemistry. Camp Rainbow Gold has had all of that for more than three decades; a winning team helping to give kids diagnosed with cancer and their families a chance to get out in nature, have adventures, enjoy each other and leave the hospitals and illness behind for awhile. But when leaders of the organization had a chance to add a world class quarterback to the team to help get them over the goal line of their next big project, they took it.
As we reported back in April, Camp Rainbow Gold announced former NFL quarterback Carson Palmer will serve as spokesperson for the organization's capital campaign called Heal Idaho.
Palmer played 15 years with the Cincinnati Bengals, Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals. The 2002 Heisman Trophy winner and University of Southern California alum now lives in Sun Valley with his wife and kids.
Palmer and Camp Rainbow Gold are raising money to build Hidden Paradise, Idaho's first medical camp. It will serve as a space for children with medical needs and their families to connect with nature. Hidden Paradise will be built on 172 acres near Fairfield, Idaho.
Camp Rainbow Gold said $9 million has been raised to improve its current buildings, build an on-site health center, 12 cabins, shower houses, a ropes course and more. The nonprofit needs to raise another $7 million dollars to build a main lodge and maintain existing buildings. That's where Palmer comes in.
On this week's Viewpoint, Palmer talked about how and why he got involved with the project.
Carson Palmer: "We were in Boise and my son had a health concern that we were researching and looking at and talking to different doctors, and randomly, a doctor that we were meeting with was like I know Ketchum, I go up there and have been in the area and I'm part of this thing called Camp Rainbow Gold. And I had never heard of it. I didn't know much, and started doing some research and saw right away how special this opportunity is for these kids that are really living in hospitals, under the bright lights of hospitals, and it's an opportunity for them to get outside and be a kid and go to camp like my kids are going to camp this summer, like I went to camp as a kid growing up. So I just saw it as a really special place, a really great opportunity for these kids and these families that are fighting really difficult health challenges."
Doug Petcash: "Do you anticipate that you'll be involved in this in some capacity even after the money is raised and the project really starts putting hammer to nail?"
Carson Palmer: "I do. I get to go to camp this year. It's been a while since I've been to summer camp, since I think I was like 15 or 16. My family and I are going to go at the end of the summer to a camp. So I'm really excited about that opportunity, and yes, I do hope to be a part of this. As I said it's got a special place in my heart. It's a really, really rare and unique opportunity as the only medical camp in the state."
On this edition of Viewpoint Palmer talks more in-depth about the role he'll be playing in this major fundraising campaign. He also talked a little about college and NFL football.
Plus, leaders from Camp Rainbow Gold lay out their vision for Hidden Paradise, what the camp offers now and what still needs to happen for it to become a reality. Viewpoint airs Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock on KTVB NewsChannel 7.
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