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Break-In at Headquarters of Youth Nonprofit

Richmond Police investigating overnight burglary at Comfort Zone Camp.

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Staff members of Comfort Zone Camp were shocked this morning to discover there had been a break-in at their headquarters at 4906 Cutshaw Ave.

"I walked in, and it was a frenzy," says Stacey Ricks, public relations director for the nonprofit. There was no vandalism, she says, but the office was in a state of disarray: "Clearly they were trying to find some material value in each office."

Several laptop computers had been stolen, as well as some cash, but staffers were still working with Richmond Police this morning to assess the losses. Ricks says no sensitive information was on the stolen laptops, and that the development offices, in another wing, were undisturbed.

Comfort Zone Camp, founded by Lynne Hughes in 1999, offers bereavement camps for children who have lost parents or siblings. The camps mix traditional summer camp activities with group counseling sessions. Two all-ages camps are being held this weekend, in New Jersey and Virginia. About 65 youth are expected today at Camp Hanover in Mechanicville.

Ricks says the camp team is working to get into the camp's database so that registration could go off without a hitch. "They won't even know what happened," she says of the campers. "We will make it work."

It's also unfortunate timing with a major fundraiser for the nonprofit a little more than two weeks away. The 10th Annual Grief Relief Gala, a black-tie event with live music and an auction, is scheduled to be held March 28, from 7-11 p.m., at the Science Museum of Virginia. (Click for more information.)

The break-in was especially difficult, Ricks says, because "it's clear when you walk into our offices that we're a nonprofit for children. We're out here trying to make things better and we get hit like this."

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