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Kieve hosts the 2nd Annual Family Camp for 9/11 Families

September 1, 2003

In an emotional appeal to the Americans and Patriots in all of us, Navy Seal Jeff Stratton (center) presents a flag that flew over the re-built section of the Pentagon to Kieve?s Dick & Nancy Kennedy.

September 11th, 2001 changed the world we live in and changed our lives in ways we could never imagine. Last week on the shores of Damariscotta Lake in Nobleboro the people of midcoast Maine had an opportunity to share some of our abundant natural beauty and relative safety with our heroic comrades in New York and Washington DC. Caring and lasting friendships have developed and grown out of Kieve's Family Camp. Kieve, with Operations Director Charlie Richardson leading the charge, hosted their 2nd Annual Family Camp for families affected by the September 11th tragedies. Individuals and families from Ladder Company 3, FDNY Battalion 6 and Cantor Fitzgerald in New York as well as The Pentagon all arrived at Kieve last Sunday for a week of laughter, tears, hugs, support, and lots of fun, games and entertainment. Instead of fire-fighting ladders and helmets, firemen and their children wore protective head gear and harnesses to play on the High Trapeze, Aqua Zip, HS Swing and the Vertical Playpen, all various elements of the Adventure Ropes course at Kieve. In addition, families went fishing, water skiing and sightseeing on the lake. Daily outings were organized for shopping in Freeport, a climb up Mt. Battie in Camden, fishing and sight-seeing trips on the Snowgoose, Kieve's 42' ocean boat Captained by Mike Requa. The evenings were filled with fun and laughter enthusiastically performed by magicians, jugglers and comedians. The final evening included a spectacular fireworks display over the lake and music by Bruce Marshall who played with the leader of the Marshall Tucker Band. For the 2nd year the Pemaquid Lobster Co-op provided a great authentic lobster bake including clams, onions, corn and eggs and lots of delicious hotdogs, hamburgers and french fries for the kids. A special thanks goes to the many Maine companies and several individuals and foundations who made significant donations of time, treasure, and products; a more prominent display of appreciation to them will be forthcoming.

The week was filled with an out-pouring of love, emotion and kindness by people who were ready to give and ready to receive. Friendships grew deeper by families who met last year at Family Camp and new friendships developed, for many of whom it was their first visit to Maine. Kieve's Dick Kennedy said, "It was impossible to tell who was on the giving end and who was on the receiving end". In a conversation with one of the volunteers, Battalion 6 Captain Buddy Cleary said,? It was unimaginable what we went though on 9/11, but your offering this opportunity to our families allowed us to meet a lot of very special people who shared similar experiences. I can?t begin to tell you what it means to all of us.? Susan Wallace, whose husband died in the World Trade Center working at Cantor Fitzgerald, smiled as she watched her children play. ?Last year my kids were scared to leave my side. This year I?ve hardly seen them all week since they found the confidence to make new friends and enjoy all that you?ve given us.? In addition to the flag presentation in the photo, Kieve was presented a Chief?s helmet from Battalion 6 and a ?Memories Album? from the families of the Pentagon. Families are already making plans for the 3rd Annual Family Camp next August where new and old friends will laugh, play and share life?s common threads on the shores of Damariscotta Lake.

For more information please contact Russ Williams


 

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