July 12, 2011
Salvation Army brings youth fun in the sun
Group’s summer program taking about 30 children on field trips, teaching them about being safe
Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Cortland Salvation Army summer campers, from left, Alaina Januszka, 10, Britney Stillman, 11, and Julianna Evangelista, 10, enjoy a day at the Yaman Park beach on Monday afternoon.
Eleven-year old Julia Campbell poured wet sand over her legs at Yaman Park beach Monday, making herself a mermaid.
Campbell was one of about 30 children ranging in age 6 to 17 who romped at Yaman beach on the first day of the Salvation Army’s “Summer Fun Days.”
The aim of the program, said Cortland County Salvation Army Capt. Dorothy Budd, is to educate and entertain underprivileged children during the summer.
“It is just to provide something for them to do, keep their days full so it doesn’t leave them at risk to be doing things they shouldn’t be doing or wandering places they shouldn’t be,” Budd said.
The summer fun days last until Aug. 5.
The Salvation Army, led by Budd and volunteers, takes the children on field trips to local parks where they can participate in summer activities like swimming from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during weekdays.
Before coming to Yaman on Monday, the children were in classes at the Salvation Army building on south Main Street in Cortland, learning things like healthy eating practices and how to identify inappropriate touching.
For children to participate in summer fun days, families must submit an application at the end of the school year. The children generally come from low-income families, said Budd.
But the program also just gives them a chance to be children, she said.
“There’s enough stress as it is being a kid nowadays,” said Budd.
Ten-year-old Julianna Evangelista was enjoying being buried in sand by her friends 11-year-old-Britney Stillman and 10-year-old Alaina Januszka.
The trio said they were looking forward to swimming later in the day and the other field trips that the group would take. Stillman said the group would go to the Sciencenter in Ithaca as well as Buttermilk Falls and Beaudry Park. The girls were looking forward to picnics and visiting the parks.
“My toes are sticking out,” Evangelista complained, wiggling her toes at her friends who quickly dumped more sand on her feet.
As new captains for the local Salvation Army, Budd and her husband, Shane, oversee all services for the poor such as soup kitchen programs.
Over the summer the children will be taught bike safety, in addition to other educational programs designed to keep them safe.
“Educating our children is the best thing we could do to get them ready for when they are adults,” said Dorothy Budd.
A fundraiser will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on July 26 at Friendly’s on Route 281 in Cortlandville, Budd said. Ten percent of all purchases that day will go to the local Salvation Army.
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