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Send a Kid to Camp campaign fundraising goal has been met, thanks to you

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Ringo Starr can’t do a proper drumroll and neither can I. But I won’t let that stop me from asking for a figurative drumroll as I prepare to announce the total from this year’s Send a Kid to Camp campaign.

I am delighted to announce that when we toted everything up Wednesday, our total stood at — figurative drumroll please, maestro — $555,185.69. Thanks to your generosity, we blew past our goal of raising $500,000 to support Camp Moss Hollow, a camp in Fauquier County for at-risk kids from the Washington area.

This was truly a community effort, built upon donations small, medium and large. The money allows for a full summer camping program at Moss Hollow, as well as the unique winter camping program that is so important in helping shape young lives. Thank you.

A donor who wishes to remain anonymous again this year offered to match donations up to a total of $100,000 in the campaign’s final two weeks. I was hoping we could claim every last cent of that money. Because of your generosity, we did.

Clyde’s once again threw its support behind our efforts, donating the proceeds from a different menu item each of the eight weeks of the campaign. The total was $20,995. That’s a whole lot of crab cakes and cobbler. And thank you to Clyde’s and the Old Ebbitt Grill for donating gift certificates to their fine establishments. (If you expect to receive one of these, please be patient. They will be mailed by the end of the month.)

We were also buoyed by the participation of different groups, which raised money with everything from carwashes to a well-positioned M&M’s dispenser. My thanks to:

Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide ($600).

Clients of Clinton, Md., “Taxbabe” ($3,691).

The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region ($2,250).

The Edgemoor condominiums, Bethesda ($1,320).

Finn Spark ($500).

FlyGirlz DMV ($400).

GIFT: Giving in the Finest Tradition ($300).

Insurance Services Associates of Virginia ($100).

Jury Services ($250).

Magruder High and Shady Grove Middle School Leo Clubs ($413.13).

Marina Towers, Alexandria ($3,102).

McLean Duplicate Bridge Group ($200).

McLean School of Maryland’s Service League ($1,635).

Merrill Lynch Wealth Management M&M’s machine ($824.15).

Middleburg Players ($100).

St. Mary’s Baptist Church ($1,400).

Speedy and Honey Altman Memorial Camp Foundation ($400).

Temple Shalom ($200).

Temple Sinai, Rabbi Portnoy Fund ($250).

Women of Christ Church, Christ Church Parish, Georgetown ($1,500).

Woman’s Life Insurance Society, Local Unit #3 ($50).

Finally, did you go to Camp Moss Hollow? Are you a longtime supporter of our campaign who has always been curious about what the camp is like? Well, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Moss Hollow is hosting a 45th anniversary celebration. At noon the Rotunda will be dedicated in honor of Mary P. Wiggins, the beloved “Mom” Wiggins who was head cook at the camp for decades. There will be a cookout at 12:30 p.m. and a closing campfire at 3 p.m.

A $10 donation is requested, and Family Matters of Greater Washington would like to get a head count, so if you’re planning on coming, e-mail Brandy Harrison at bharrison@familymattersdc.org. She’ll send you directions to the camp, where I will be able to thank you personally.

Jokers wild

In my Tuesday column I lamented the political posturing that pushed our country’s debt-ceiling extension to the 11th hour and called Congress a bunch of “clowns.” This prompted a note from Arlington’s Chip Beck, who said he initially appreciated my choice of words.

“Then,” Chip wrote, “I started to feel bad for the unintentional insult levied at a group of hard-working, traditional professionals who have made us laugh and cry (but happy tears) under the Big Top of life — the real clowns of Barnum & Bailey, Ringling Bros. fame. Or Howdy Doody for that matter. The only laughter our current crop of politicians evoke is ridicule, and that is purely unintentional on their part.

“Perhaps the only thing more insulting to real clowns than calling politicians ‘clowns,’ would be to call clowns ‘politicians.’ ”

Chip suggests that we treat both professions with the respect they deserve and call them by their appropriate titles. By all means, refer to clowns as “clowns,” but call senators, representatives and members of the executive branch fools, egotists, moochers, wing nuts or the Mob in the House on Fire.

Wrote Chip: “The more I think about it, perhaps the most pejorative term available for the Tribe on the Hill is ‘politicians.’ Maybe someday we can replace them with professionals who can run a government, not overrun it.”

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