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Updated: January 17, 2023

Incoming Camp Sunshine CEO is first leader who participated in program

building with flag and sign Courtesy / Camp Sunshine Founded in 1984, Camp Sunshine provides retreats for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness.

The new head of Camp Sunshine, a free retreat in Casco for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families, brings 17 years of experience in nonprofits but also has firsthand knowledge of Camp Sunshine from attending with her family. 

Camp Sunshine’s board of directors named Joanne Bean as CEO and established a senior leadership team to continue the nonprofit’s multi-year strategic growth process. 

person with glasses smiling
Courtesy / Camp Sunshine
Joanne Bean.

Bean joined Camp Sunshine in July as the senior vice president and chief development officer. 

Previously, she was the vice president and chief advancement officer at St. Joseph’s College of Maine in Standish for nine years. Before that, she was the senior director of development at Jackson Laboratory in Bar Harbor for eight years.  

Altogether, she brings over 30 years of nonprofit leadership experience.

Bean was introduced to Camp Sunshine when she and her family benefitted from the program after her daughter, Shannon, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 4. Bean – along with her husband, Paul, and their children, Shannon and Brian – attended Camp Sunshine in 1994 at the recommendation of her daughter’s pediatric endocrinologist.  

“Our experience at Camp Sunshine was life-changing,” Bean said. “I’m honored to come back to help lead this incredible organization that provided a transformative experience to me and my family,” said Bean.

Founded in 1984, Camp Sunshine provides retreats combining respite, recreation and support, while providing love, hope and promoting joy, for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families through the various stages of a child’s illness. 

“Joanne brings more than 30 years of progressive nonprofit leadership experience and an important perspective to Camp Sunshine as the first leader to have attended camp as a family,” said Anna Gould, the nonprofit’s founder and board chair.

Under Gould and Bean’s leadership, Camp Sunshine has established a senior leadership team comprised of Vice President of Development Ruth Calas, Vice President of Finance Roger Densmore III and Vice President of Program Operations and New Business Development Stephanie Feyler. 

“We’re returning to a full schedule of traditional in-person programming this year and we’re working on solidifying new partnerships with our treatment centers, referral partners, volunteers and donors that will ensure families will be able to experience the magic of Camp Sunshine for years to come,” Bean said.

In 2021, volunteers from “Maine Cabin Masters,” the renovate-a-wreck reality TV show, teamed up with Landry/French Construction to replace 68 windows at the camp’s activity center in one day.

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February 22, 2023

Camp Sunshine is a magical place offering opportunities for friendship, fun, outdoor activities, art/craft projects…bonding for parents, siblings, and of course the children afflicted with illness. Additionally this camp brings together medical personnel who assist each particular group of patients with their needs while at camp. And as important, these medical personnel provide information for parents, discussing recent treatment and findings pertinent their child’s illness. At times further research into the specific medical conditions has resulted from the bond created between doctors and families.
Opportunities for parents, siblings, and afflicted children, to mingle with others experiencing similar medical and emotional challenges, is a significant outcome of attendees attending Camp Sunshine. Truly this place is one of life’s many blessings!!
Barbara Maffett
former volunteer at the Camp, friend of the Camp, and a forever friend with DBA families met while working there

January 20, 2023

A wonderful place for children and family's with life threatening experiences A true respite!

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