This is the final week of the Send a Kid to Camp campaign. Are you worried about reaching your goal?

Frankly, yes. I am worried. As of Friday afternoon, Washington Post readers had contributed $317,516.08, a nice chunk of change but not yet halfway to our goal of $750,000.

You guys always seem to pull it out at the last minute. Is that orchestrated? Do you hold back so you can go over the top in dramatic fashion on the last day of the campaign?

No. I wish that was the case because it would mean that I was sitting on a big pot of money and that my increasing desperation over the past few weeks was just an act. But I'm not and it isn't.

While in the past a handful of big donors have chosen to contribute right at the end of our fund drive, we can't always count on that. In any case, the bulk of the money comes from single readers and from groups of readers who sponsor everything from bake sales to swimathons. If you've ever thought about donating -- whether it's $20 or $200,000 -- now is the time to do it.

What if I wanted to get my hair cut today AND

I wanted to make some sort of contribution to Send a Kid to Camp?

You're in luck. Salon Daniel in McLean is donating proceeds from all haircuts today to Send a Kid to Camp. "I was reading the paper and I noticed that the fund was short so much and I felt really sorry for the kids," said Salon Daniel's Telisha Allison. "So I went around asking people to donate their time. They thought it was a great idea."

At least eight stylists will be coming in today -- their day off -- and working from noon to 8. No appointment is necessary. Telisha asks that customers make a minimum donation of $30.

The salon is at 6828A Old Dominion Dr. in McLean. The phone number is 703-893-5000.

How else may I donate?

Make a check or money order payable to "Send a Kid to Camp" and mail it to: Attention, Lockbox, Department 0500, Washington, D.C. 20073-0500.

To contribute online, go to Click on the icon that says, "Make Your Tax-Deductible Donation."

To contribute by phone with Visa or MasterCard, call Post-Haste at 301-313-2200 on a touch-tone phone. Then punch in KIDS, or 5437, and follow the instructions.

The cost to send one at-risk kid to Camp Moss Hollow for one week is $590.

Are you only going to talk about Send a Kid to Camp today?


Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Column

I am trying to understand the order of the pillars of the states at the new World War II Memorial.

Lisa Kahn, Springfield

Answer Man's colleague Maryann Haggerty offered this handy way to puzzle out the order of U.S. states presented in a list:

If Delaware is first, the states are in order of admission to the union. If South Carolina is first, they're in order of secession from the union. If Alabama is first, they're in alphabetical order. And if California is first, they're in order by population, from most to least.

But what do you do at Washington's newest memorial?

There are 56 pillars carved with what are obviously the names of U.S. states and territories -- oh, and with the capital of the country, aka the District of Columbia.

The state names seem to follow no discernible order. Standing facing the focal point known as Freedom Wall -- 4,000 bronze stars -- you see pillars sweeping to the left and to the right.

To the right they start with Pennsylvania, then Georgia, Massachusetts, South Carolina, Virginia, marching on and ending with Virgin Islands. The first pillar to the left says Delaware, followed by New Jersey, Connecticut. . . . What gives?

Betsy Glick, the memorial's director of communications, said: "If you consider the Freedom Wall as the center of the memorial, we have the first state to enter the union, Delaware [on the left], then on the other side is Pennsylvania, the second state to enter the union, and then it alternates."

The states ping-pong back and forth around the central plaza. "It's like if you had an important state dinner, that's how you would arrange it," Betsy said. "When you have an important dinner and you want to place your guests at the table, you place the guest of honor immediately to the right, then the next one to the left."

At the end of the list are the territories (Puerto Rico, Guam, Philippines, American Samoa, Virgin Islands), the District of Columbia and the states that weren't states yet during the war (Alaska and Hawaii).

So, to recap: The states are in order of admission to the union, although they're presented in such a way that you can't figure that out. Sort of the way it's not obvious that each of those 4,000 gold stars represents 100 American deaths during World War II.

Probably the niftiest use of states on a monument is on the Lincoln Memorial. There are two sets: The 36 states in the Union at the time of Lincoln's death are carved above 36 columns, while a frieze along the roof bears the names of the 48 states at the time the memorial was completed, in 1922. And lest they feel left out, Alaska and Hawaii were later memorialized on a plaque on the terrace.

Researcher Alex MacCallum contributed to this report. Send your queries to, or write John Kelly, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071.