An exciting new season at Kudzu

Fall is always an exciting time of year for Camp Kudzu. The change in leaves and cooler temperatures signal the start of a new fiscal year and build-up of a promising season. With the kick-off of October, we enjoyed “Taste of Tucker,” hosted by Karen and Art Wood, along with several other great happenings. We have even more in store, as you will read in this issue of our E-news.

We are now four weeks away from our 11th Annual Camp Kudzu Benefit Luncheon, and our core group of volunteers are working hard to put the finishing touches on this very important signature event. Fall Family Camp  is approaching fast, scheduled for October 26-28 at Camp Twin Lakes in Rutledge, GA. We also are fortunate to have many third-party events scheduled each week leading up to November 13, which include Spin for Kids and the Corner Tavern’s “Buttapalooza.”

This month's issue focuses on a lot of our behind the scenes work. Read on to find out the benefits of volunteering with us, the outreach work we are pursuing across Georgia, and some fun third-party events coming up. As always, I welcome all your ideas, stories from camp and feedback, so send me an email to share. 

In closing, you will see some of the highlights of our collective success illustrated in our 2018 Infographic. Thank you doesn’t express the gratitude to all our incredible stakeholders, our committed board of directors and the 400+ amazing volunteers -- who in many cases volunteered for more than one session or program -- which translates to 650 different roles and 62,400 hours of volunteer time! Thank you for making 2018 such an amazing and memorable year.

-Rob Shaw
Executive Director
Kudzu growing rapidly at Georgia events
img As Kudzu's outreach activity takes it across the state, our staff have the opportunity to represent our organization and support others at diabetes-related events. While at these events, we also enjoy the opportunity to connect with new members of the Kudzu family.

Two of these events happened recently: the Sugar Surfing Workshop at Kennesaw State University on October 6, and the JDRF OneWalk in Columbus on October 12. While at the events, we connected with families new to Kudzu and focused on building meaningful relationships. We are proud to participate in these fantastic events and look forward to continuing to spread the word about Kudzu's great work across the state.

Thank you to Dr. Ponder for the invitation to the Sugar Surfing Workshop and to the fantastic team at JDRF for inviting us to join them again for the One Walk in Columbus. If you know of any diabetes-related events that would be a good fit for Kudzu to participate, let us know by emailing Whitney LeHew at

Kudzu welcomes Jessica Martinez
img Camp Kudzu is excited to welcome Jessica Martinez as our new Director of Development. Jessica's background includes close to a decade of experience in development, including annual fund, donor relations, marketing and communications, database and program management, special events, and advocacy.

"I am very excited and appreciative to be joining the Camp Kudzu team as Director of Development," said Jessica. "The work the team has done has been remarkable and has created an indelible mark in the lives of the children and families that Camp Kudzu serves. I am thrilled to be a part of such a dedicated, passionate, positive, hard-working team and look forward to the work we will do together. I was intrigued with Camp Kudzu from the first time I read about it - just looking at the website, you can see the impact that camp is making in the lives of children in our community. I value Camp Kuzdu's mission to education, empower, and inspire children living diabetes and honored to be part of such an impactful mission. I look forward to working with each of you to continue the path of success that Camp Kudzu has been on and all of its future endeavors."

Most recently, Jessica was the Director of Development at PowerMyLearning, where she created a robust volunteer program, increased the annual event revenue by 124%, and revamped the entire annual giving framework, including marketing and digital strategies.

Jessica has been featured in Women’s Day Magazine and has been a speaker for numerous events, including the Women’s Day Red Dress Awards, An Evening with Larry King and Friends, and Go Red for Women. Jessica received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Save the Date
11th Annual
Tickets and auction items available!

We are less than a month away from our 11th Annual Camp Kudzu Benefit Luncheon on November 13, 2018 at Cherokee Town and Country Club. Proceeds from our luncheon provide financial support for Camp Kudzu’s year-round programs for children and teens living with type 1 diabetes. Last year’s luncheon funded over 250 camp scholarships for children that were able to attend camp, and we hope to exceed that number this year!

We still have sponsorship opportunities, as well as table sponsors and individual tickets. If you would like additional information, please contact Jessica Martinez at or visit our event website:

You can use the site to check out our silent auction items and make a donation, as well. We hope to see you on November 13th!
Get ready for flu season: get your flu shot!
By Anna Albritton, MS, RD, LD, CDE
It’s that time of year—if you have an upcoming endo appointment, you’ll likely hear your doctor ask if you’d like to get a flu shot. With flu season upon us, the likelihood of brushing off those sick-day management skills is, unfortunately, higher than normal. While flu season was brutal last year, the CDC says it’s hard to predict the severity from year to year. Regardless of just how bad the season is or isn’t predicted to be, we know we are preaching to the choir when we emphasize the importance of flu shots for individuals with type 1.

It takes a village...and then some.
By Kat Shreve
As we get ready for our upcoming programs for the 2018-2019 Year, including Family Camps, Teen Retreat, Overnight Camp, and Sprouts Day Camp, we are working on both the 2019 Camper Application and the 2019 Staff Application. We are excited about our new database, called UltraCamp. UltraCamp is a user-friendly application that will allow families (and volunteers) to quickly complete applications and forms, seamlessly apply for the scholarship program, and pay camp fees.

Be the first to know about
Summer 2019 Camp dates!

Follow us on social media:
Twitter: @campkudzu
Instagram: @thecampkudzu
Come volunteer at the JDRF OneWalk Atlanta!
Kudzu needs your help in the Kids Zone at the JDRF OneWalk Atlanta, on this Saturday, October 20 . During the event, Kudzu staff and volunteers will be helping in the Kids Zone. If you are interested, please contact Anna Rambo at

Upcoming Third-Party Events
Spin for Kids:  This event raises money that provides camp programs for children with serious illnesses, disabilities, and other life challenges, including Camp Kudzu. A percentage of the funds raised will help supplement the overall cost associated with Camp Kudzu's summer programs at Camp Twin Lakes. Visit our team page to get more information.
Buttapalooza (The Corner Pub):  Hosted by the Elrods, Buttapolooza is an event where individuals come out and “cook their butts off" – some of the best smoked butts in Decatur! Join the fun on November 3rd!  Visit their website for more information.  

For more details or answers to questions regarding third-party events, contact Jessica Martinez at .
2018 Kudzu Partners