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Saturday, May 25, 2024

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Kind Kids – Elementary No. 2 Tops $1,100 to Help Victims of HIV-AIDS

By Al Campbell

COURT HOUSE – Chocolate’s intoxicating scent filled each corner of Jackie Stites’ fifth grade class in Middle Township Elementary No. 2 last week.
Under Stites’ guidance, youngsters hand dipped pretzel rods, and then sprinkled them with rainbow-colored jimmies. After they cooled, they were bagged, collected, and sent to various rooms where hungry donors awaited their two-for-$1 treats.
The profits, which amounted to over $1,100, according to Stites, will be sent to Cape Dreamcatcher, a summer camp for 160 children and adolescents coping with the reality of HIV-AIDS in their daily lives.
She said the idea was hatched as the class studied HIV-AIDS. It seemed a relevant way to give the students an opportunity to assist those affected by the diseases.
The camp, held on the grounds of Camp Saginaw in southern Chester County, Pa., will be held Aug. 20-26.
Campers, aged 5-17, either have HIV-AIDS, have lost a family member to AIDS, or have an HIV-AIDS infected family member.
Campers will enjoy a variety of camp activities, including swimming, arts and crafts, sports, and other activities.
Evening activities will include a John Flynn concert, a dance, talent show, and a grieving ceremony.
The camp has over 250 counselors, medical staff, musicians and community members who assist.
Patty Hillkirk in 1996 founded Camp Dreamcatcher and a small committee committed to creating a safe place for children and adolescents facing HIV-AIDS.
In 1999, the camp expanded its services to year-round activities including camper support groups, retreats, reunion parties, HIV-AIDS education, training and community outreach.
All services provided to campers from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia are free.
Contact Campbell at (609) 886-8600 Ext 28 or: al.c@cmcherald.com

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