The North Face Awards Explore Fund Grant to Athletes 4 Cancer – supports a national effort to increase outdoor exploration among young adults affected by cancer

We are so stoked to have North Face as a supporting partner in our Camp Koru program!! Here’s the full press release…

North Face Explore Fund

Hood River, OR – January 10, 2012 – The North Face, has awarded an Explore Fund grant to Athletes 4 Cancer (A4C) for their Camp Koru Cancer Survivorship Program. The Explore Fund’s mission is to inspire and enable the next generation of explorers by funding non-profit organizations that are working to re-connect children with nature. By encouraging an active healthy lifestyle and protection of our natural landscapes, a stronger connection of youth and young adults to the outdoors can be nurtured.

Camp Koru’s primary focus is to help rebuild lives after cancer.  A4C uses adventure-based experiences such as surfing, outrigger canoeing, standup paddling and snowboarding, as channels of healing and life-renewal that treat the mind, body, and soul. Athletes for Cancer’s programs, such as Camp Koru, aim to help young survivors not just survive, but thrive in all aspects of life.  Athletes 4 Cancer was selected from more than 900 applications submitted for the first of two grant cycles in 2012.

Since The North Face Explore Fund was initiated in 2010, The North Face has provided more than $1 Million in grants to non-profits all over the world working to connect youth to the outdoors, with more than three quarters of that going to programs in the United States.

We are very pleased and grateful to receive support from The North Face Explore Fund,” said Tonia Farman, executive director of Athletes 4 Cancer. “We truly believe in the physical, emotional and social benefits of connecting young people with the outdoors, and this funding will help us continue to provide that experience to young cancer survivors.”

The Camp Koru program was established in 2010 to further expand A4C’s mission of harnessing the healing power of the elements with outdoor adventure. Since it’s founding, the program has run six camp programs that focus on, and directly impact, small groups of 16 survivors each.  Set in a safe and supportive environment, participants are first instructed with the proper tools, then encouraged to make their own confident decisions in the ocean (surfing, standup paddling) just as in life. These individuals discover that they can overcome fears of something they never thought they could do, sharing their experiences with their peers at camp, and leaving with a new outlook on facing life after cancer. The impact reaches beyond camp, inspiring participants to be agents and change and embrace life while influencing friends, family, and other survivors, to do the same.

Athletes 4 Cancer has been able to advance the mission exponentially with the support of partner organizations such as the John Wayne Cancer Foundation (JWCF) and the Seattle Foundation. JWCF and Athletes 4 Cancer share a mutual vision for harnessing the healing powers of physical activity and the outdoors in the fight against cancer.  This synergy led to JWCF support and inspiration to Athletes 4 Cancer for launching the Camp Koru program.

“There can be so many barriers to getting kids outdoors, whether it be a disability, health resources or simply a lack of access. A large percentage of the grants went toward funding organizations that are addressing these issues by providing access and education,” said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “We believe that if you can get kids to love the outdoors, not only will they develop skills that will help them throughout life, but they will grow up to care about their natural world, protecting and conserving the wild places they explore”

Camp Koru will launch on March 17, 2013 for two sessions in Maui, Hawaii. To learn more about Athletes 4 Cancer and Camp Koru visit   For more information about The North Face Explore Fund, please visit

About Athletes 4 Cancer

Athletes 4 Cancer is dedicated to enriching lives impacted by cancer through the healing power of the elements and the tenacity of the human spirit. Essentially, Athletes 4 Cancer rebuilds lives after cancer. Athletes 4 Cancer focuses on rebuilding and renewing lives after cancer through outdoor adventure.

About The North Face®


The North Face, a division of VF Outdoor, Inc., was founded in 1968. Headquartered in San Leandro, California, the company offers the most technically advanced products in the market to accomplished climbers, mountaineers, snowsport athletes, endurance athletes, and explorers. The company’s products are sold in specialty mountaineering, backpacking, running, and snowsport retailers, premium-sporting goods retailers and major outdoor specialty retail chains.


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