Celebrating Danny Cavett, 2017 Visions Honoree

by Kristyn Hale, OKCNP Fall 2017 Intern

The Oklahoma Center for Nonprofits is honoring five nonprofit leaders at Visions: A Celebration of Nonprofit Leaders on November 28, 2017. Over the next five weeks, we will be spotlighting each of the five honorees.

Our first honoree, Danny Cavett, started as a chaplain for the Children’s Hospital more than 40 years ago. Cavett’s responsibilities increased as he accepted the title at OU Medical Center as the director of pastoral care.

While working alongside sick children at the Children’s Hospital, Cavett dreamed of creating a place for kids battling life-threatening and chronic illnesses to enjoy life while learning how to cope with their diseases and developing the character needed to face the challenges life presents them.

Cavett fulfilled his dream in 1997 when the organization, Camp Cavett, hosted more than 100 patients at the inaugural summer camp. The organization continued under the name Camp Cavett, Inc. for 11 years until transitioning to Cavett Kids Foundation to better reflect the wide variety of programs offered through the organization.

“A nonprofit is an instrument that helps people bond together for a common mission,” Cavett said. “It channels people’s passion to help one another and make a difference in our society. No entity does this better than nonprofits.”

The foundation host and supports ten events and two ongoing programs annually at no cost to patients or their families. All of Cavett Kids Foundation’s camps and events are staffed with doctors and nurses to ensure appropriate care for the sick children.

Cavett was instrumental in starting the oldest kidney camp in the nation and a 36-year-old cancer camp, which assimilated into two of the five camps available through Cavett Kids Foundation. These camps allow the children to form connections with others suffering from serious illnesses similar to their own.

“I want to make a difference by being a channel of the grace of God,” Cavett said. “When I see people, especially children, in need I know that I can help to make a difference.”

The Cavett Kids experience seeks to remind campers their illnesses do not have to limit their ability to live a full life.The organization simultaneously provides support for the children and families through the organization’s mission of developing character, connections and methods of coping with illnesses. Annually, Cavett Kids Foundation serves 12,000 children and families across the state of Oklahoma.

Through his chaplaincy and founding Cavett Kids Foundation, Cavett’s care and concern for sick children and their families is not only appreciated, but was recognized on a national level over a decade ago. In 2002, Cavett was honored with the HCA Frist Humanitarian employee of the year award for his efforts following the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and serving as a grief counselor in New York City after September 11, 2001.

“When I see chronically ill children I want to help them,” Cavett said. “By showing how they don’t have to live their lives by being a victim but they can use the situation to become a thriver.”

Cavett, along with his work at OU Medical Center and Cavett Kids Foundation, works in accordance with multiple nonprofits providing support to critically ill children and their families. Cavett is a facilitator for a parents’ support group through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. He serves as a board member for Ronald McDonald House, Oklahoma Children’s Cancer Association and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Cavett is a member of the Institutional Review Boards for OU Health Sciences Center, Oklahoma Blood Institute, Federal Aviation Administration and Mid-America University. He is a member of the medical advisory board for LifeShare of Oklahoma.

Danny Cavett is receiving the Pat Potts Visionary award, which is given to an individual executive leader who through focus, tenacity and leadership inspires the success of a single organization to carry out its charitable mission.

“I feel very humbled in receiving this [award],” Cavett said. “The success of our nonprofit has been the kind and generous participation of all the volunteers that help us all year. I feel that this honor should go to our whole group instead of just one person.”

Visions is a celebration of nonprofit leadership and will recognize Cavett, along with four other Oklahoma-based leaders and visionaries, on November 28th at the Skirvin Hilton in downtown Oklahoma City. For more information visit the Visions page. 

2017 Visions Honorees:
Danny Cavett
Shannon Luper
H.E. Gene Rainbolt
Toby Jenkins
Bob Spinks

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