Fundraiser brings going to camp within reach for children


A Friday evening over a glass of wine, food and items up for auction may seem like a night for the adults, but in fact, it was all for the kids

All ticket and auction proceeds for this evening went to the Hidden Valley 4-H Camp’s scholarships.

“We don’t want to turn away any camper,”  Jennifer Sweet, the director of Hidden Valley 4H Camp, said. “Every camper who wants to come here should be able to come”

This was the camp’s second annual fundraiser. Last year’s event raised $1,800 and gave 16 kids the chance to experience the summer camp life. 

The camp isn’t standing alone. Cornell cooperative extension of Schuyler County helps out and even operates the camp.

“The memories that are formed here for children that spend a week, or two, or three are irreplaceable,” Phil Cherry, the executive director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County, said. “They’re here living outdoors, having just the time of their life and they keep those memories with them forever.”

It’s such memories that camp alumnus Erin Thaete has from her years at Hidden Valley when she was a child. She is now the vice president of the Board of Directors for the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County.

“It’s just awesome and you have these counselors who are super invested in you and your development,” Thaete said. “You get to learn and grow in so many ways and it’s just instilled this amazing sense of confidence in myself.”

It’s that same development and confidence the camp hopes future campers get a chance to experience.

“I hope the long-lasting impact is that campers will come here, find their spark,” Sweet said, “find their joy in life and go out into the world and be productive, successful human beings.”

This year’s fundraiser raised $1,950. On top of that, the local moose bowling league donated another $500 to help a child’s dream of going to camp become reality

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