At last, we're in six figures.
Sometime over the holiday weekend, our Send a Kid to Camp fund-raising campaign passed the goal of $100,000 we set back in May. If you have any firecrackers left over, this is the time to light them.
Breaking the 100-grand barrier delights me in several ways. We have proved again that Hardball Washington really has squishy softness in its heart. We have kept alive a 35-year-old local tradition that was in danger of dying along with The Washington Star, which formerly ran the campaign. We have proved that even recessions and $1.30-a-gallon gasoline can't keep 3,072 readers from whipping out the old checkbook.
But by far the most important result of having raised $100,761 as of Tuesday morning is that every one of the 1,100 underprivileged children in our community who expected to go to camp this summer will go.
That will nourish these kids in new and significant ways. It will give them a look at an outdoor life and setting that they probably wouldn't have experienced otherwise. It will give the kids a chance to try new activities. And it will demonstrate to kids who might have had trouble believing it before that strangers in our community care about them.
Good lessons. And good work by you readers. You came through again. To every one of you who contributed, my thanks, and thanks from the kids who will benefit.
One last note:
Even though we have now assured that this year's crop of kids will go to camp, there is no reason you can't still send a check if you have been meaning to do so and forgot, or if you have procrastinated.
The camp fund was seriously depleted during the 1970s, when donations fell steadily. The fund will suffer another blow next year when federal budget cuts wipe out thousands of dollars in food subsidies.
So don't be shy. Contributions will still be accepted throughout the summer, with gratitude. And your bucks have bang. Every cent you send goes directly to feed, house, transport and equip campers. There are no middle men, no fund-raising costs, no fancy brochures, no "expenses." It's money well spent.
Please make your check or money order payable to Send a Kid to Camp and mail it to Bob Levey, The Washington Post, Washington, D.C., 20071.