Five Lucky Winners are Picked to Win a Weekend Away at Camp Reveille with Joan Lunden

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Heart-Warming Stories Capture Joan Lunden's Attention

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This is a guilt free weekend

Joan Lunden, longest running host of ABC TV's "Good Morning America," best-selling author, international speaker, and women's health and wellness advocate, never expected the overwhelming response she received to an essay contest launched this spring whose winners would attend her women's weekend getaway, Camp Reveille as her guests in August.

Her web site,, was inundated with entries, including heart-warming stories from a son nominating his supportive mother, a mother seeking a respite for her daughter who is a Hurricane Katrina survivor, and hundreds of women who themselves felt in need of a summer camp getaway.

"It was too difficult to select a single, winning entry," said Lunden, who ended up choosing five winners from around the country to join her for the women-only, long weekend getaway she hosts once a year on the grounds of Camp Takajo in Maine.

"This is a guilt free weekend," says Lunden. "If we want to be our best as women, we must take care of ourselves. That means taking a break from our demanding schedules to revitalize mind and body. Camp Reveille offers a chance for renewal, personal growth, and self discovery, but most importantly it's time to relax and have fun! These five women are going to truly relish the Camp Reveille experience."

The lucky winners include:

Andrea Bennett of Lynn, Mass., a physician's assistant at Children's Hospital of Boston and the highest ranking black woman in the Massachusetts National Guard. In December she will be deployed to Iraq. Andrea's daughter, Aisha Bennett nominated her mother, Andrea, who has dedicated her life to her four biological children as well as three children who she took in and cared for over the years.    

Catherine "Cat" Thomas of New Orleans, who was displaced from her home for three months in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and ever since, has juggled a full load including working a demanding hospital job in New Orleans, raising an energetic six-year old boy & her two step-children, and volunteering her time wherever needed, teaching her children about the importance of giving back. According to Cat's mother, Mary Levesque, who nominated her daughter, Cat puts everyone else's needs first including her mother. For the past two years Cat has cared for her mother in Oxford, Massachusetts throughout 11 surgeries.

Diane Ambrosio of Kings Park, Long Island, NY, a working mother of five children (16, 14, 13, 12 and 9) and a nursing school student, devotes her life to her family. Every moment is spent continuing her education, working, or making sure her family is cared for. Diane shared in her essay that her home and family, as well as her own physical and mental health, are suffering from her frantically busy schedule. Feeling constantly overwhelmed and guilty, Diane is the epitome of today's working mother. Camp Reveille will help her re-charge and return a better mother for her family.

Gloria Pleasant of Maple Valley, Wash., was nominated by her son Kyle, a New York City-based musical theater performer. Kyle wrote in his nomination of his mother, "Joan Lunden has always been a tremendous role model and inspiration for my mom. My mother worked tirelessly to pay the bills, even filing bankruptcy to make the best life possible for our family and support my passion to be a performer. She taught me to follow my dreams, embrace my differences and never give up."

Linda Kennedy Hassel of Redding, Penn., a grief counselor and mother says "my life has become my work as I believe that somehow I can be an anchor in the storm for many women. Yet, to do my best, I know I need to take care of myself - advice I give my clients, yet somehow do not take readily for myself." Linda has found passion in her work after enduring her own share of grief and challenges, losing a daughter at age 10 from blood-transfused AIDS after battling leukemia from the age of two. Linda has raised three children and will finally have a weekend to take care of herself.    

Camp Reveille runs from Aug. 20-23 in the lake region of Southern Maine. The idyllic location includes an active waterfront and beach, which offers swimming, sailing, canoeing, waterskiing, sunbathing, and banana boat rides. Women can enjoy a myriad of fitness classes including dance, yoga, Pilates, and strengthening or partake in traditional camp activities like arts and crafts, archery, a 50-foot climbing wall, beach volleyball, basketball, or tennis. During the four-day, three-night getaway renowned skincare line, Murad, sets up a luxurious spa for women to enjoy complimentary facials and massages. This year Joan will be offering one-on-one nutritional consulting and dermatological full body checks for those who choose to sign up.

To find out more about Camp Reveille, please visit
To find out more about Joan Lunden, please visit

Director of Public Relations and Media Development
Joan Lunden Productions/Camp Reveille
(914) 219-5558

Hunter Public Relations
(908) 876-5100 - office
(908) 963-6013 - mobile

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