By Rhonda Massad
Trails of Summer Camp for Autistic Children put on their annual spaghetti dinner/bingo fundraiser and as always packed the Karnak temple, on Sources Boulevard, with supporters. Volunteers were also plentiful to get the spaghetti to the tables, sell raffle tickets, serve drinks and hand out bingo cards.
Sponsors such as Madisons, DelFriscos and Rockaberries donated food and beverage while many supporters donated items for the raffle table. Lynne Pronman, founder of the Trails of Summer Camp, gave a heart felt speech and had the audience in tears when she announced that once again this year she was lucky enough to be receiving the proceeds from six local McDonalds restaurants this year on McHappy Day on May 7.
“I feel like I have been struck by lightning twice in my life.” Pronman said with tears in her eyes, “once last year when we were chosen to receive the donation and now again this year. So go and eat at McDonalds on McHappy Day.”
According to Gail Kouri, owner operator of six West Island McDonald locations, $1 from sales of every Big Mac, double big mac, happy meal, muffins and coffee will go directly to the camp as it did last year. In 2013 this represented $24,000. To Pronman this means several things, but most importantly, nine children attending camp that otherwise could not. Trails is a non-profit day camp for children with special needs to learn new skills, make friends and build self esteem. The children get to choose their favorite activities based on what they enjoy.
“Our camp has a one to one camper councilor ratio,” she explained, “that is costly. Our councilors are highly qualified to address each camper’s specific needs.”
“In a world where these kids are asked to conform each and every day, they get to come to Trails of Summer and be themselves, they know they are in an environment where they are not going to be judged. “ she said.