COLCHESTER, Vt. (WCAX) On a windy morning, Don Sutton is at peace.
"You need a place like this for them to go to, to reflect," Sutton said.
It's a chapel at a unique place. Camp Ta-Kum-Ta is for kids who have or have had cancer. For a few weeks, cancer is put out of their minds. It's a time to be normal.
But there is a sad reality, too. There are 75 markers leading up to the chapel in their honor.
"Every block you see is a child that was with us and has gone up to be with God," Sutton said.
Sutton has volunteered at Camp Ta-Kum-Ta since the beginning when it was held at Camp Holy Cross in Colchester. When Camp Holy Cross closed, Camp Ta-Kum-Ta found a permanent home in South Hero. Sutton made the journey, and so did the chapel.
"It belongs here with these children," he said.
Piece by piece, Sutton and a group of volunteers dismantled and resurrected the chapel on the grounds.
"I'm proud of the people who put their heart and soul in putting this place back together," he said. "It's a special place, Joe, it's a very special place."
"I very rarely run into someone that is so passionate about a cause," said Hattie Johnson, the camp's executive director.
Through the years, Johnson says Sutton has raised over $1 million for the camp. He has organized a yearly "Super Bingo" event.
"He has a big heart and will always put everyone first," she said.
Sutton has another passion; he started the fire and rescue service at St. Michael's College almost 50 years ago. On this day, many of those students who volunteered through the years are here to celebrate his 90th birthday.
"They're just beautiful kids who have been so much part of my life," Sutton said.
He figures he's trained close to 600 kids to be on the fire and rescue squad.
"I'm so proud, I'm so proud because you have to do so much to make this possible," he said.
In this season of giving, Sutton's volunteering is a gift to us all.