ST. PETERS, Mo. – Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis has teamed up with Imo’s to help send more children to summer camp.

The temperatures reached triple digits across St. Louis Wednesday, but the heat is no bother as children are inside the St. Peters Rec-Plex for Variety Adventure Camp.

“Our annual summer camp really provides kids with an opportunity to be kids,” said Brian Roy, Executive Director for Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis. “So, adaptive experiences, but that opportunity is there to make new friends, to socialize, to try new things like rock climbing, skating, swimming, robotics, and all those things that every kid should have the ability to do.”

Imo’s franchise owner, Nick Imo said the camp is a way for kids to obtain freedom.

“They can make lifelong friends with their fellow campers, but also the counselors,” said Imo. “I believe it’s one counselor per camper so there’s a lot of resources that go into making this camp successful.”

For more than two decades the Imo’s family has contributed more than $2 million to Variety the Children’s Charity of St. Louis. In 2022, the company sent 20 children to camp, and on Wednesday it brought pizza and toasted ravioli for the campers and counselors.

“All of our programs are free, but it cost about $1,000 per kid to do a week of camp,” said Roy. “So, Imo’s and their wonderful partnership and their wonderful franchisees are trying to step up and send more kids to camp. We’re grateful to have the entire family and franchisees making this possible for us.”

The Variety Adventure Camp members received a surprise from St. Louis Blue’s mascot Louie the Bear.

“I think Louie stole the show,” said Imo. “The pizzas were awesome, but soon as he walked through the door they were swarming to him so that was pretty cool.”