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Kids helping kids at Camp Tidnish

The Kool Aid Kids, the children of cottagers in the Amherst Shore and Lorneville areas, have raised more than $50,000 for Camp Tidnish and other needy causes over 52 years. The kids visited the camp on Thursday to provide another $1,500 representing another summer of fundraising. Those participating in the presentation were: (front, from left) Zach Atherton, Jacob Christie, Charlotte McAlpine, Elliot Stewart, Stephanie Atherton, (back, from left) camp director Donna MacPherson, Lesley Brown, Vivian McAlpine, Beth Atherton, Abby Stewart, Ella Christie, Ross Stewart and Michelle Stewart.
The Kool Aid Kids, the children of cottagers in the Amherst Shore and Lorneville areas, have raised more than $50,000 for Camp Tidnish and other needy causes over 52 years. The kids visited the camp on Thursday to provide another $1,500 representing another summer of fundraising. Those participating in the presentation were: (front, from left) Zach Atherton, Jacob Christie, Charlotte McAlpine, Elliot Stewart, Stephanie Atherton, (back, from left) camp director Donna MacPherson, Lesley Brown, Vivian McAlpine, Beth Atherton, Abby Stewart, Ella Christie, Ross Stewart and Michelle Stewart. - Darrell Cole

Kool Aid Kids provide $1,500 to summer camp

CAMP TIDNISH, N.B. -  Kids helping kids.

It’s the motto of a group of young cottagers in the Amherst Shore and Lorneville area, known as the Kool Aid Kids, that have been raising money for Camp Tidnish and other needy causes for more than 50 years.

The children ages eight to 13 held fundraisers throughout the summer and presented a cheque for approximately $1,500 to the camp for physically and mentally-challenged children and adults on the Tidnish River at the Nova Scotia-New Brunswick border.

“It was a lot of fun to raise the money, knowing that it’s going to help something as important as the camp,” 13-year-old Kool Aid Kids co-president Ella Christie said.

Vice-president Jacob Christie said the organization is all about helping others their age.

“It’s all about kids helping kids,” he said. “We did a lot of things during the summer to raise the money. We had volleyball games, a softball game, sold raffle tickets and had a silent auction with the prize being VIP seating at the ball game.”

Moosehead Breweries provided a number of items to the group to raffle off.

Along with helping Camp Tidnish, which is owned by the Amherst Rotary Club and operated by Easter Seals Nova Scotia, the group also sponsored swimmer Sean LeMoine in the recent swim across the Northumberland Strait for Camp Brigadoon.

This was the 52nd summer for the Kool Aid Kids, who were known as the Amherst Shore Centennial Summer Club when they were first brought together by Alf Murdoch in 1967.

In that first year they raised $10.75 that was put into putting a wishing well at Camp Tidnish. Over the years, the group has had numerous fundraisers, raising $25,000 since the beginning.

Among the items purchased for the camp have been two washing machines, four canoes, swing sets, a fan for the kitchen, a vacuum cleaner, a lawn mower, life jackets and a pool heater as well as money toward the purchase of land.

The group has included 130 children from across the Maritimes and Ontario. The children's parents have all had summer homes in the Amherst Shore region.

After making the donation, the kids were given a tour of the camp to see how their support helps.

“This is such an important place,” co-president Abby Stewart said. “This is such a good cause. The campers seem so happy here.”

Michelle Stewart was a Kool Aid Kid and now her children are. She said it’s nice to see the next generations continue the tradition started more than a half-century ago.

“It’s really special to see this group continue what was started to so long ago and they show so much enthusiasm doing it,” Stewart said. “They planned out what they were going to do to raise the money and then went out and did it. It says a lot about their character and how much they care.”

There was a core group of seven or eight children, but others with cottages in the area participated. The cottagers are from throughout the Maritimes, Ontario and the United States.

Camp director Donna MacPherson said the support is appreciated. The money will be put to good use to purchase arts and crafts supplies as well as sports equipment – things that get a lot of use.

She said the Irwin Point Road cottagers have also been doing some fundraising to purchase linens for the camp.

The final camp of the year is wrapping up. She said there were 268 campers this summer.
darrell.cole@amherstnews.ca

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

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