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East Syracuse Camp Good Days to form advisory group

"We have adult retreats," Cattaneo said. "It's about you. You can attend camp as an adult if you were a child with cancer because there are issues that stay with you in life that will follow you after you had cancer; even if it's not life altering, it's still a part of your life."

Other programs have expanded to children or one of their family members who currently have or once had sickle cell anemia, HIV/AIDS, of if they've lost an immediate family to homicide.

"It's a pretty broad population," Cattaneo said.

Broad population; undersized staff

Cattaneo recognizes her dire need for volunteers within the Syracuse office, located on N. Midler Ave. in East Syracuse. With only one other part-time employee, it's difficult to spread the word to the communities who would best benefit from its programs.

For instance, the homicide program is huge in Rochester, but just one family has taken advantage of it here in Syracuse. Cattaneo said its success out west is because it's directly related to the Rochester Police Department.

"In Syracuse, we just don't have that yet," she said. "But I'm working on it."

Cattaneo is also in the process of creating an entirely new concept for CGDST in Syracuse.

"One of the things that I've been working feverishly on is developing an advisory group to help me because I know that I can't do it alone," Cattaneo said. "I'm desperate for any opportunity to talk because it's just a matter of word of mouth and people sharing what they have."

She added that the organization does not receive state funding, but operates solely on private donations, special events, and fundraisers, which makes an advertising budget economically unfeasible.

Recruitment has begun for the 2007-08 school year advisory session that will span 10 months.

Ideally, Cattaneo is looking for a cross section of people to become involved in the committee; people who have a connection in the violence world, in the medical field, or from a social angle.

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