Major Don's Army, Inc.



The mission of
Major Don's Army, Inc.501(c)(3)
is to help children with cancer AND their families enjoy a three- or four-night vacation to the Table Rock Lake/Branson, MO area.

Major Don's Army, Inc.--formerly known as The University of Table Rock Lake Foundation (UTRLF)--was approved as a 501(c)(3) public charity by the IRS in September of 2004. Founder "Major Don" Bishop--along with his wife and co-founder, Elise--have made it their passion to help kids get away from the medical environment with their families to have some fun here in the Ozarks. Each family chooses the activities they want to do while on vacation at Table Rock Lake, located near Branson 45 miles south of Springfield, MO. Any child with a life-threatening illness whose family lives within a day's drive of the area is eligible to apply for the vacation program.

"Major Don" is a two-time cancer survivor himself, and he knows firsthand how this terrible disease can ravage the body. But he has also learned the therapeutic effects for the mind and body of getting away to enjoy beautiful scenery and having some fun.

Bishop spent 20 years on active duty with the U.S. Army. Shortly after his retirement in 2002, his left leg was amputated as a result of the effects of chemotherapy and radiation treatment for rectal cancer in 1994. During a routine CT scan in 2004, a cancerous tumor was found on his left kidney, which was subsequently removed.

Even though Bishop appeared to some as disabled (and in many regards he was), he was also determined to make a difference for kids going through similar experiences. He KNEW one child's illness affects his or her entire family, which is why he designed the program for entire families.

In Oct. 2016, Major Don lost his 22-year battle with cancer, vascular disease, and heart disease. His wife and co-founder, Elise, is committed to continuing his work and legacy through their foundation.

Follow Major Don's Army on Facebook for updates and articles and photos of the families the foundation brings to the Ozarks. If you would like more information regarding our vacation program for children that qualify, please call
(417) 336-1161 or email us at



Website Builder