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Camp Gets Tracy’s Kids Courage Award

A bunch of Washington’s own stars (and by that we mean members of Congress) rolled out the red carpet Wednesday evening for a Hollywood-style, Oscar-themed event to benefit Tracy’s Kids — an art therapy program designed to help children and their families deal with the trauma of cancer.

The event, “And The Winner Is …”, is the eighth annual Tracy’s Kids Courage Award ceremony, and it’s held to recognize “a public person who exemplifies the strength, dignity and perseverance” necessary to face the challenges of the disease.

The event was hosted by Lucky Strike restaurant and Regal Cinemas Gallery Place complex.

This year, Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., received the Courage Award. Camp, who chairs the House Ways and Means Committee, announced last summer that he had been diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Following months of chemotherapy, he was declared cancer free in December 2012.

“I’ve come to this over the years, obviously never expecting to be standing up here, but it is so important to get that support and positive experience that can take you outside of yourself and get you thinking about something else,” Camp said. “Getting a diagnosis like this is not easy for anybody, but for children and families, it’s tougher.”

Last year’s Courage Award was presented to Barbara Grassley, a breast cancer survivor and the wife of Sen. Charles E. Grassley, R-Iowa, who was a host at Wednesday night’s event.

Grassley co-hosted the event with Sens. Orrin G. Hatch, R-Utah, and Patrick J. Leahy, D-Vt. Leahy’s wife, Marcelle, received the Courage Award in 2007.

“We are here for those smiles, for those kids who are going through an unspeakably difficult time in their lives,” Marcelle Leahy said.

Other former award recipients include Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., in 2010 and Sen. John McCain, R- Ariz., in 2009.

After the short ceremony and plenty of pizza, fried chicken and free-flowing wine, guests were invited to take their pick from a selection of Oscar-nominated movies being screened upstairs in the Regal Cinema. The lineup included “Argo,” “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Lincoln,” and “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Proceeds from the event will go to a bevy of Tracy’s Kids support programs that rely on board-certified art therapists to treat kids using art and play therapy.

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