In 1995, Mended Hearts Chapter #209, located in Morgantown, WV, sent twelve campers with cardiovascular disease to Smith Mountain Lake 4-H Educational Center in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains near Roanoke. Sponsorships for the campers, ages 8-16, were provided by Mended Hearts #209, Mountainview Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, Monongalia General Hospital Foundation, WVU Department of Surgery Secretarial Staff, Dr. Robert Gustafson, Dr. Larry Rhodes, Dr. Arpy Balian, Dr. Lee Pyles, Dr. Marie Steiner, Dr. Stan Einzig, and Drs. David and Kathy Rosen. The campers were accompanied by Shannon Rudy, a R.N. whose sponsorship was provided by Dr. William Neal and George Rosier. Bob Hartley, Bob Walker and Libby Hupp visited the camp and observed some of the activities.
This camp, sponsored by Franklin County Chapter #148 of Mended Hearts, provided fully-equipped facilities, recreational activities, meals, trained counselors and medical staff qualified to handle cardiovascular emergencies. After attending and observing this camp, the Morgantown Mended Hearts Chapter voted to develop a similar camp for the children in West Virginia.
Bob Walker, Richard Myers and Bob Hartley attended the National Annual meeting of Mended Hearts and learned that they would be unable to hold a camp under the name of Mended Hearts. Thus, a non-profit corporation, Mountain Heart Foundation, was formed with the State of West Virginia on January 23, 1996, as a qualified 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization eligible for donations. Mountain Heart Foundation is a totally separate organization and not affiliated with the Mountain State Mended Heart Chapter #209. Its sole purpose is to facilitate the annual Camp Mountain Heart, known more recently as Bob Hartley's Camp Mountain Heart.
The first Camp Mountain Heart was held at Cedar Lakes in 1996 and involved sixteen campers. Now, the camp has over 70 children attend annually! Everyone involved is very grateful for the opportunity to provide these special children with a week of fellowship with other children just like themselves.