Home Cherry Hill News Cherry Hill Mall Food Truck Festival raises $5,000 for autism nonprofit

Cherry Hill Mall Food Truck Festival raises $5,000 for autism nonprofit

Funds will help pay for programs at Kamp for Kids



Kids at the Cherry Hill Food Truck Festival raise signs promoting it. The festival raised $5,000 for Kamp for Kids. (Special to The Sun)

Cherry Hill Mall co-hosted its third annual food truck festival with Kamp for Kids earlier this month, raising $5,000 to benefit the children’s nonprofit. 

The event featured eight food trucks and 10 other vendors. 

“It’s definitely grown,” said Lisa Wolstromer, senior marketing director for the  mall. “(Since it began in 2020), the number of trucks has grown. (Previously,) we didn’t have a DJ, we didn’t have carnival games, we didn’t have a vendor marketplace.”

The mall regularly joins forces with nonprofits: It will hold its Fuel for School on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the grand court, to promote nutrition for children and families and raise money for the Center for Family Services. 

As in the past, the mall will be the collection point for school supplies. More information can be found at https://cherryhillmall.com/event/Fuel-for-School/2145572803/

The mall’s food truck festival is similar and was inspired by Kamp for Kids’ two-day event in Philadelphia, taking place this year on Saturday, July 29 and Sunday, July 30. The Pennsylvania-based nonprofit offers free camps about three times a year for families with a child or children with autism. 

This year, Kamp for Kids splurged on a new youth center at the Neshaminy Mall in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, and it will hold a weekend retreat from Friday, Sept. 1, through Monday, Sept. 4, at Victory Valley Camp in the state’s Lehigh County. The camp is free, and there is no age limit.

“The more funding we get, the more camps we do,” noted TIm Morton, director of Kamp for Kids.

The camps usually bring together about 100 people, with approximately 30 staff members leading activities such as campfires with songs, swimming, fishing, boating and other sensory friendly activities. Included is a Fancy Schmancy Date Night for parents and a pizza party and movie for the kids. 

Morton noted that expenses for one retreat can be anywhere from $12,000 to $15,000. 

“It’s quite an undertaking,” he acknowledged, “to cover the cost of them.”

In addition to the camps and the youth center, Kamp for Kids also holds a regular  Owls for Autism event that includes a tour of Lincoln Financial Field, home of the  Philadelphia Eagles, a tailgating party and other activities for kids and adults with the disorder. This year, it will take place on Saturday, Nov. 4, for the Temple vs. Navy football game. The first 200 tickets are free, and include access to the activities above.

Though space is limited for the camps and the game, the youth center welcomes kids in grades six through 12 Friday through Sunday year-round and offers free programs. It is open to kids both with and without autism.

“It is really a refuge for kids who kind of want to come out and have a good time,” said Morton. 

To learn more about Kamp for Kids, visit https://www.kampforkids.org.



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