Funding Request 2024

February 15th, 2024

To Whom It May Concern:

We are seeking financial support for the 8th annual Rescue Divas EMS Camp For Girls. I would love to share a few highlights about our unique and much-needed program with you.

Rescue Divas EMS Camp For Girls is a fun, hands-on residential summer camp that introduces girls to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) careers. Our exciting activities help girls grow confidence and become stronger leaders, even during times of high stress. The Rescue Divas camp is a collaborative project that has a lasting impact on the girls who attend, encouraging them to be strong, independent leaders while exposing them to EMS careers. This special opportunity is open to 20 girls currently in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades residing in Northwest Wisconsin.

There is a concerning national and local shortage of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and a lack of effective recruitment efforts. Add Northern Wisconsin’s aging population to this, and you have a scary and potentially fatal combination developing for the future. The recognition of this problem gave rise to the concept of Rescue Divas EMS Camp for Girls. One of the central tenets of this industry camp is introducing and attracting a younger audience to Emergency Medicine. Instead of recruiting from the same demographic with the same low results, we use a unique approach. Rescue Divas focuses on middle school-aged girls, as we recognize that Emergency Medicine is a non-traditional career for women.

Rescue Divas campers receive training in CPR, First-Aid, AED use, and water safety. A highlight of camp each year is an entire afternoon spent with Search and Rescue professionals learning about tracking, using drones to search rural areas, and working with K9s, followed by putting it all together for a mock search and rescue. On the field trip day, girls gain an appreciation of the EMS resources of our region by visiting places such as the hospital, police station, fire station, and technical college and sharing those experiences with those in their communities. Last year, campers also participated in an empowering self-defense class, created blankets as a service project to be donated to local children in need of extra comfort during trying times, and learned about workforce soft skills.

Rescue Divas relies heavily on volunteers to be successful. Each year, Rescue Divas has more than 20 community members volunteer at Rescue Divas, primarily from multiple EMS agencies, along with several from other non-profit businesses and the community in general. Rescue Divas proudly has a ripple effect throughout the community beyond the girls that attend camp to parents, volunteers, and the extended community.

Rescue Divas EMS Camp For Girls is a program provided by Northwest Wisconsin Concentrated Employment Program, Inc. (Northwest Wisconsin CEP). Northwest Wisconsin CEP is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization founded in 1968 to serve consumers in ten of Wisconsin’s most northwestern counties – Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor, and Washburn counties. Northwest Wisconsin CEP connects consumers of all backgrounds to the resources they need for sustainable employment. These needs may include transportation, childcare, or financial assistance to obtain school certifications or degrees and work to make meaningful connections between these consumers and the local business community. Furthermore, Northwest Wisconsin CEP employees can help connect these consumers to other community assistance to help them succeed in their communities as well-rounded and successful individuals and employees.

This funding request would allow the Rescue Divas camp to continue for an 8th year at a low cost to the families of the girls attending, many of whom are from rural and high-poverty areas of northwest Wisconsin. The overall budget for Rescue Divas is approximately $16,000, not including in-kind donations, with the cost per girl being around $800. Girls are only asked to pay $35 to attend the 5-day/4-night camp, with all other expenses paid for by small grants and donations, which vary from year to year. The primary costs include staffing, lodging, meals, transportation, and supplies.

I appreciate your consideration, and please let me know if I can share any additional information,

Mary Zinnecker
Northwest Wisconsin CEP Information Manager, Rescue Divas Program Director

Downloadable version: RescueDivasGrantRequestLetter2024