Leon's Mysterious Childhood Friend

By Salvation Army

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As a child, Leon Bosse didn’t spend much time trying to figure out how his parents could afford to send him to The Salvation Army’s Camp Sunrise in Gibsons.  A week at camp each summer was just part of being a kid.  And what a wonderful part it was!  Every year Leon eagerly awaited summer and what many children only dream about – canoeing, sharing a cabin with boisterous friends and zip lining over the trees. 

As a youngster, Leon’s family faced some challenging times.  His father became disabled for awhile due to a freak accident at work and the family struggled to make ends meet.  Leon’s parents attended services at The Salvation Army’s church in Metrotown while their children joined Sunday school.  It was during these early years that the summers at Camp Sunrise began. 

As a 17 year old, Leon extended his joy of camp by becoming a counselor at Camp Sunrise.  He continued as a counselor for five consecutive summers. He began sponsoring a child for camp and continues to do so today.  Leon was thrilled to be able to give others the same formative experience that had so positively shaped his life. 

Eddy Orr was a “soldier” at the Metrotown church for decades.  He wasn’t wealthy but made a decent salary and retired with a comfortable pension.  For more than thirty years Eddy quietly provided camp sponsorships for children he knew.  He always asked the church to keep his gift anonymous. 

In 2007, when Leon was 21 years old and Eddy was 88 years, Eddy passed away.  Leon’s family attended Eddy’s memorial service.  It was at the service that Leon discovered the identity of his mysterious childhood benefactor, who had sponsored him for summer camp from the age of 6 to 15.    

After his passing, the Metrotown church learned Eddy had left a $25,000 bequest for the church and designated the gift to sponsor underprivileged children to attend Camp Sunrise.  Eddy’s legacy continues to this day through The Eddy Fund.  This fund has given, and will continue to give, young children the same powerful experience Leon enjoyed.

Kathy Mannas, CFRE
Planned Giving Officer
The Salvation Army

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