Rotary hears Flying Horse Farm updateBy Rachel Mendell
Don Wiggins, manager of Flying Horse Farms, presented an overview of the history and work done so far at the camp for critically ill children based in Mount Gilead.
As of last week Flying Horse Farms is officially a member of Hole in the Wall Camps which was founded by Paul Neuman. FHF can deal with emergency situations of seriously ill children because of its full medical facility and trauma room. The founders of FHF had once sponsored a one-day camp, which included horse-back riding, but wanted to do more. They donated 200 acres to FHF and the project began 5 years ago.
Hospitals from Ohio and Pennsylvania will send children to the camp for free.
The camp, which opened last November, offers weekend family camps, week-long illness-specific camps and numerous volunteer opportunities. Wiggins said the family camps offer a chance for families to be with other families that are dealing with the same struggles of caring for a seriously ill child.
The children’s week-long camps are free to children ages 8 to 15 and are illness-specific to allow for the staffing of doctors and nurses in that specific field. For example, Wiggins went on, in the heart disease camp, every little boy in the pool has a scar on his chest and no one is “different.”
Activities for the children include hiking, walking, crafts, “fish/catch/kiss and release,” singing, bon fires, and other camping activities.
This year the camp served over 500 children and next year the goal is 1,400. There are volunteer opportunities including making beds, working a work day and general clean up. The camp needs light bulbs, tents, sleeping bags, furnace filters, and, of course, money. It costs $2,500 per child per week.
Rotary also heard about the group’s student exchange program from members of the Sunshine Rotary Club. Two students said a few words about going to a foreign country, one from Oberlin Ohio and one from Brazil. Rotary International sends students to 80 countries with 8,000 long-term and short-term exchange programs every year.
The club announced Trick or Treat Walk Your Feet will be Thursday, Oct. 27 from 4 – 5 p.m. in the Uptowne area. Rotarians will be on hand to direct traffic and oversee safety. Volunteers for the event request no pets, no smoking and no violent costumes because of the small children that will be attending.
Rotary meets every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at the Varsity Grill. Visitors are welcome.