Monday, April 18, 2011

New Haven Register Fresh Air Fund needs your help!

The aim is to send kids to summer camp!

As the brutal winter finally is behind us and we begin to believe there truly are hot days of summer around the corner, the New Haven Register Fresh Air Fund is launching its annual appeal to send needy children from Greater New Haven to summer camp.

The Fresh Air Fund was founded in 1905 by John Day Jackson, the Register’s owner. The fund made possible trips to the countryside and nearby amusement parks. It was a respite from summer idleness and the hot city streets for the immigrant children of the workers in the city’s crowded factories.
The city air is much cleaner now. The soot from turn-of-the century factories is gone. But, the goal, providing a summer experience to those who would otherwise be denied it, remains the same. Today, the Fresh Air Fund supports sending more than 100 children to 15 camps — from Woodbridge to Hebron — where they form new friendships and are occupied with vacation activities, from tug of wars to swimming and hiking and amateur theatricals.
Each camp determines which child will receive Fresh Air Fund assistance and the dollar amount each child will receive. Camp costs vary, depending on whether it is a day or overnight camp, the level of need and the length of experience.
The time spent at camp is a memory that many former campers cherish. As the years pass, they become donors to the Fresh Air Fund so that other children can enjoy the opening up of new worlds and the fun of their own long ago camping days.
The Fresh Air Fund long has depended on individual donations and those who have volunteered their services at fundraising events: concerts, variety shows, road and bed races, lemonade stands, even the Register’s newsroom book sales. The roster of contributors is a cross section of our community: retired government workers, hospital staff, baseball leagues, those who give in memory of a parent or friend or to mark a birthday or wedding anniversary.
People’s donations are usually modest, but they add up and they are effective. Every penny is spent on sending children to camp. The Register absorbs all administrative costs.
We would like to send even more children to camp this summer. To do this, we need your help.
Please send your donation to New Haven Register Fresh Air Fund (attn: Jack Kramer, editor - and Register Fresh Air Fund president), 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven 06511.

Editor's note: In the 2009 photo shown,  a $1,000 donation to the fund was made from the Stratton Faxon New Haven Road Race. The organization made nearly $20,000 in donations, including the $1,000 gift to the Fresh Air Fund. Presenting the check to New Haven Register Editor Jack Kramer, second from right, who is president of the Fresh Air Fund, is, from left, John Courtmanche, board president, Christina Acampora, communication director for Stratton Faxon, and John Bysciewicz, race director.

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