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Article updated: 5/24/2013 9:08 PM

125th Anniversary Celebration of the Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association and Holiday Home Camp to Conclude with Benefit Gala on June 15, 2013

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By Nancy Lehman

125th Anniversary Celebration of the Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association and Holiday Home Camp to Conclude with Benefit Gala on June 15, 2013

The grand finale in a year-long commemoration of the 125th Anniversary of the Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association and Holiday Home Camp will culminate on June 15th at this years' benefit gala: "Club HHC -- Painting a Brighter Future". This summer will mark the 125th year since the first children arrived at Holiday Home Camp. Last year's gala, "A Step Back In Time," kicked off the anniversary by reflecting on the rich history and traditions of the past. "This year's theme, "Painting A Brighter Future," is meant to focus our attention on the years ahead and building a wide foundation of support that will carry this wonderful organization forward for another 125 years," says Molly Keller, President of the Board of Directors…"being a small non-profit is challenging in today's economic environment. We need to continue to expand the extended community's awareness of our programs and the difference that fresh air, summer camp experiences make in the lives of the children we serve.".

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Guests at the gala will feel transformed by the ultra chic nightclub atmosphere. "Club HHC" will be a hip and stylish experience complete with great food, drink and entertainment at Lake Geneva Country Club. The evening kicks off with cocktails at 5:30, followed by a decadent three course sit down dinner prepared by LGCC Executive Chef JD Walker; dessert will follow during the live auction, and then lead into a night of dancing, and, new this year, dueling pianos! This years' festivities will also include an "After Party" beginning at 9:30 p.m., where those interested can join the event later in the evening. The late night option includes cocktails and late night snacks. And for the anniversary finale, all in attendance will be treated to an amazing display of fireworks that have been generously donated by Mr. Barry MacLean for the 2nd year in a row.

This years' gala is being chaired by Mrs. Liz Ring who is a member of the board of directors and a resident of Lake Geneva. "We wanted to plan a really special evening to bring the 125th anniversary year celebration to a close, and we wanted the campers to be a part of it…" stated Ring. "…so we chose paintings by former campers that we will be selling during the silent auction -- we felt this was a perfect way to connect our theme of Painting a Brighter Future directly back to the campers themselves," explained Ring. "In addition," she added, "each year, several campers are selected to attend the gala and share their inspiring Holiday Home Camp stories with the evening's guests which helps build a connection between our donors and the organization."

The gala raises funds to help build on the traditions of the Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association and also expand upon Holiday Home Camp's mission of providing fresh air, outdoor summer experiences for disadvantaged children. Holiday Home Camp's programs help build self confidence and inner strength to those that participate. Since opening its doors 125 years ago, the camp has served over 45,000 children in the Southeastern Wisconsin and Chicago-land area. This annual party is the primary fundraiser for the camp each year; over the last seven years the Gala has raised approximately $125,000 annually. The Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association realizes more than half of its annual operating budget through private donations, which fund the costs of approximately 500 campers each summer.

The benefit is generously sponsored by several local area businesses including MacLean-Fogg Company of Illinois, Dalco Metals, Gage Marine, ChinaWest Jewelers, Engerman Contracting, MPC, as well as, Majic Enterprises and Morgans & Co. Fine Picture Framing.

"The support and generosity of the local community is so appreciated," said newly appointed Executive Director of Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association and Holiday Home Camp Jon McLaren. "One of the things I've been most impressed with since starting here is the connection the local community has with the camp," McLaren continued, "and the Gala is a way to both extend our mission within the community and to celebrate all the children that have come through the camp and benefited from a fresh air, summer camp experience over the last 125 years," said McLaren. McLaren and his Assistant Director, Jessica Brennan, both joined the organization over the last several months and are ready to open the doors for the first campers of the 2013 season on June 17th.

The Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association was founded in the summer of 1887 by a group of Chicago area families who had summer homes on Geneva Lake and wanted to expand upon the Fresh Air Movement that was taking place on the East Coast. Their initial contributions of $13,000 (the equivalent of approximately $315,000 in today's dollars) provided the seed capital to purchase lakefront acreage and begin construction of a retreat for the poor children from the Chicago urban area. One year later, in July of 1888, the organization welcomed the first summer residents. By the end of that summer, Holiday Home Camp had served 263 disadvantaged children. Today, Holiday Home Camp is a member of the American Camping Association and is the oldest accredited summer camp still operating in its original location.

Those interested in joining us at the gala can order tickets by going online to www.holidayhomecamp.org or by calling Amanda Tenut at Holiday Home Camp's Offices at 262-245-5161. Tickets for the full evening are $195 per person, and there are limited tickets available for the after party for $50 p/p. Donations and gifts in kind to support camper scholarships can be made to the Lake Geneva Fresh Air Association and mailed c/o Holiday Home Camp, P.O. Box 10, Williams Bay, WI 53191.

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For More Information Please Contact

Nancy Lehman

773-255-0847

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