Founded in 2002, The Purple Balloon Foundation has grown rapidly thanks to the
grass roots efforts of its volunteers. The pioneers behind the development of The
Purple Balloon Foundation were Ron Schoof and Melanie Turner, Ph.D. Ron and
Melanie had a deep desire to help children who faced serious challenges, experience a
sense of normalcy and a chance to experience life to its fullest. In talking with the folks
at Children's Medical Center of Dallas and Vance Gilmore with Camp John Marc, the
team found their niche: to help support local area special needs camping programs.
They felt that providing an opportunity for a child to go to camp and experience that
they are not alone, gain confidence and have fun; was instrumental in improving the
quality of life for that child.

Thanks to generosity of several corporations, Mark Selz, and many other individuals,
the organization has been able to grow while continuing to be a completely volunteer
run organization. As we have grown we have expanded our horizons to include
providing toys at Christmas time for local area pediatric hospitals and volunteers for
hospital related events such as the Neiman Marcus Children's Parade.

  • Since 2002 The Purple Balloon Foundation has provided more than $200,000 in
    funding to 15 local area special needs camping programs.
  • The average cost to send a child to camp is $1,100 for a week long camp
(5 days).
  • Camp is provided at no cost to the campers or their families.

Camps Supported
The Purple Balloon Foundation supports a variety of camps that serve children from
Children's Medical Center, Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Cook Children's
Medical Center, and local area pediatric specialty clinics.
Camp Ailihpomeh - camp for children with hemophilia
Camp Amigo - camp for children with birth defects and genetic disorders
Camp Braveskin - camp for children who have severe dermatological conditions
Camp Bronco - camp for children with asthma
Camp Esperanza - camp for children & teens with cancer (Children's Medical Center of
Camp Feliz - camp for children with brain tumors
Camp Jubilee - camp for children & teens with sickle cell anemia
Camp Oasis - camp for children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis
Camp PHEnomenal - camp for children with phenylketonuria (PKU)
Camp Phoenix - camp for children who have been involved in a traumatic accident
Camp Reynal - camp for children and teens with kidney disease
Camp SOAR - camp for teens who have had organ transplants
Camp SOL - camp for families that have experienced the death of a child
Camp Summit- camp for children and adults with disabilities in Argyle, TX
Camp TLC - camp for children & teens with spina bifida
Camp Tecumseh - a camp for families impacted by HIV/AIDS

Board of Directors
Melanie Turner, Ph.D. - Executive Director
Bob Denton - Director of Events
Julie Diffenderffer - Director of Corporate Marketing
Barbara Schoof - Treasurer
Ron Schoof - Director of Marketing & Public Relations
The Purple Balloon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.
Helping Kids Reach New Heights!
The mission of The Purple Balloon Foundation is to enrich
the lives of children with special needs by providing
financial assistance and support to special needs camping
programs and local area pediatric hospitals.

The Purple Balloon Foundation is motivated by the belief
that every child with a special need has the opportunity to:
  • See that they are not alone
  • Try things they never imagined
  • Create friendships with other people who truly
    understand them
  • Gain confidence
  • Heal & build their spirit
We are committed to "helping kids reach new heights."