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Mon, Sept. 21

Guest column: Super summer with Civitan

Photo/Guy Mikkelsen<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Civitan Campers stand at the ready with gift baskets for local Williams families Aug. 22.

Photo/Guy Mikkelsen<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->Civitan Campers stand at the ready with gift baskets for local Williams families Aug. 22.

Since my wife Angie and I started the Williams Food Bank five years ago, we have had the privilege to provide quality food assistance to our town. In addition to our ongoing mission to help families in need, we have also been blessed with enough resources and fortunate enough to partner with and support many local organizations over that time.

One such group is the folks from Camp Civitan. Their group focuses on developmentally disabled people of all ages and through the summer these individuals come to Camp Civitan to not only have a great experience full of fun but also to further their independence, develop good social and interpersonal skills, plus learn about health, proper nutrition and fitness. They are an amazing group, both staff and campers, who had a profound impact on us that we want to share with the community.

Executive Director Dawn Trapp and her staff collaborated with the food bank this summer by using the food bank as a tour destination for the campers. Each Thursday morning the Civitan vans would pull up with new campers who would gather for Angie and I to tell them about our food bank program.

The campers are such neat individuals. They have an enthusiasm about them that was so refreshing. They were eager to learn about the importance of helping each other as a community and even more excited to lend a hand stocking a food item as they came through each time.

Then for a crescendo to the summer, Dawn and her team facilitated a gift basket project for clients of the food bank with school age children. The staff and campers assembled items to promote family togetherness with food for meals, games and much more.

They then joined us with our troop of senior volunteers at the food bank the morning of Saturday, Aug. 22 when we had invited the recipients to arrive. Again the overwhelming amount of eagerness they had in wanting to give and to help was so impressive it revitalized our own spirits to carry on in our mission joyfully and thankfully each day.

We all learned from each other and had a great time doing it. We look forward to future opportunities to interact with the amazing people from Camp Civitan, both staff and campers and also to any opportunities to make a positive impact on our community whenever we can.

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