A healthy total for a healthy summer


A sign welcomes campers to Camp Moss Hollow, a summer camp for disadvantaged kids in Fauquier County. (John Kelly/The Washington Post)
Columnist August 20, 2013

It may seem like Washington is dead during the month of August — what with Congress gone, the president away and plenty of us on vacation — but when it comes to our annual Send a Kid to Camp fundraising campaign, this is a busy month, indeed.

It’s when we tally up our donations to see whether we’ve reached our goal for Camp Moss Hollow.

John Kelly writes "John Kelly's Washington," a daily look at Washington's less-famous side. Born in Washington, John started at The Post in 1989 as deputy editor in the Weekend section. View Archive

I’m delighted to announce that we did. This year’s goal was $500,000, and we raised $558,418.51 to send at-risk kids from the D.C. area to the Fauquier County summer camp.

We received donations from 2,607 readers of this column. Our bottom line was buoyed in other ways. Clyde’s, the local restaurant group that this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary, contributed $27,550. Every Wednesday during the eight-week Send a Kid to Camp campaign, Clyde’s offered a special menu item at its restaurants and donated a portion of the proceeds to Moss Hollow.

In the campaign’s closing weeks, a donor who wishes to remain anonymous challenged readers to give, promising to match contributions up to a total of $100,000. You came through, allowing us to claim all of the matching funds.

It is local involvement such as this that is the hallmark of Send a Kid to Camp. Donations large and small add up. Here are some of the groups that participated this year:

●●Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide ($750)

●Association of the Oldest Inhabitants of the District of Columbia ($250)

●Belle Haven Women’s Club ($400)

●Christ Church Parish, Georgetown ($3,000)

●City Cousins social club ($100)

●Clients of Taxbabe in Clinton ($2,434)

●Congregation Beth El of Montgomery County ($180)

●The Richard and Nancy Gould Family Fund, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region ($3,800)

●Interdenominational Church Ushers Association of D.C. ($125)

●The Kiplinger Washington Editors ($540)

●The Kiplinger Foundation ($540)

●Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 1177, Leesburg ($25)

●Laureate Kappa Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi, Fort Washington ($50)

●Magruder High School Leo Club ($310)

●National Early American Glass Club ($250)

●Sisters of St. Joseph Gewirz Center ($50)

●St. Andrew Lutheran Church Preschool ($100)

●St. Mary’s Baptist Church ($1,400)

●The Peter R. and Claudia A. Sherman Fund, Community Foundation for the National Capital Region ($2,400)

●Speedy and Honey Altman Memorial Camp Foundation ($1,160)

●Woman’s Life Insurance Society, Local Unit No. 3 ($75)

Thank you to the many campers and counselors who shared their stories and to my colleague Gerri Marmer, who tabulated the contributions.

And, of course, thank you to the thousands of readers who donated.

As one of you noted: “Outdoors is where kids should be in the summer.”

Hello, Muddah . . .

Summer camp is just about over for this year, which means if you’re a parent you should have a stack of letters sent to you by your little campers. My colleague Mike Rosenwald is collecting letters to document this summer tradition and share with other readers.

You can share your offsprings’ words — their complaints about bug bites and their raves about s’mores — by going here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/local/wp/2013/07/18/words-of-summer-were-collecting-camp-letters/.

Reuniting

These reunions are planned for the coming months:

●Archbishop John Carroll High Class of 1973 — Sept. 27. Contact Stacy Rubens at 202-529-0900, ext. 171, or Ron Joiner at rvjoiner@comcast.net.

●Loudoun County High Class of 1963 — Sept. 6 and 7. Contact Dick Hickman at dickhickman@comcast.net or 540-338-2680.

●James Madison High Class of 1963 — Oct. 12 and 13. Contact Pat Dunn at patrick.dunn@gmail.com.

●Sigma Pi Sigma — Sept. 25. Sisters of this high school sorority that existed in the District from the 1930s to the 1980s are invited to a reunion luncheon. Call Dorothy at 301-718-2524.

●JEB Stuart Class of 1973 — Oct. 12. www.jebstuartalumni.com.

●West Potomac High Class of 1988 — Aug. 24. Contact Donielle at dlr5382@gmail.com.

●West Springfield High Class of 1973 — Oct. 5. Contact Jana Gilbert at 703-595-7590.

●Wheaton High Class of 1963 — Oct. 4-6. Visit http://1963whs50threunion.shutterfly.com.

●Woodrow Wilson High Class of 1954 — April 27, 2014. Contact Barbara Berman at barbalk@aol.com or 202-363-2371.

●Thomas S. Wootton High Class of 1983 — Oct. 25-27. Visit www.woottonclass1983.myevent.com/.

Something fishy

My Monday column was a tongue-in-cheek look at the Northern snakehead and how that hated fish could use a PR revamp. Perhaps a name like “American freedom fish” or “mock salmon” would help.

I was joking, but reader Julia Ahern said that she and her husband recently dined at the Blue Dog Saloon in La Plata, where the menu featured something called “Nanjemoy sea bass,” a.k.a. snakehead. They overcame their “yuck factor” and ordered it.

“The great thing about the snakehead is it’s extremely versatile,” Blue Dog chef Michael Knecht told me. It’s an occasional special on the restaurant’s menu, prepared all manner of ways: broiled, fried, blackened.

Michael said he and owner Gary Fick came up with “Nanjemoy sea bass” to make it sound a little more palatable, though they always explain that it is, in fact, snakehead. Another restaurant has called it “Potomac pike.”

For previous columns, visit washingtonpost.com/johnkelly.

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