The Palatine Jaycees donated $1,301 to Camp New Hope, a year-round recreational experience for people with developmental and physical disabilities. The camp occupies 41 acres on the shore of Lake Mattoon in east-central Illinois.
The money was raised during the chapter’s annual Regifters’ Auction in January. “We ask members to bring in any gifts they received during the holidays that weren’t quite to their taste, and we auction them off,” said project chair Brett Simonis. Notable donations to past auctions included a Thomas Kincaide print embedded with tiny lights and a handmade squirrel feeder.
Members picked up auction paddles and bidding began, with Simonis and fellow member Jason Foltyn acting as auctioneers for the night. Auction lots containing food and drinks started friendly bidding wars among the members. “Last year, I paid a ridiculous amount for a Hillshire Farms basket, plus it got me in trouble with my girlfriend, because I was supposed to be on a diet,” Simonis shrugged. “Hey, it’s for the kids!” This was the refrain repeated by the auctioneers to encourage members when bidding stalled.
Camp New Hope isn’t just for kids; it provides overnight camping for people with special needs ages eight and up, as well as offers a well-deserved break for caregivers. The camp has been a recipient of fundraising and volunteer work by Jaycees chapters throughout Illinois for many years. “They’re doing something special and we want to support them,” said State Director Rob Doty.
“The money we raised this year will send two people to camp, plus an extra donation,” said chapter treasurer Danielle Green.
The Palatine chapter of the Jaycees, one of the nearly 60 chapters throughout Illinois, has more than 100 members and is one of the largest chapters in the state. The Jaycees provide individuals between the ages of 21 and 40 opportunities to develop personal and leadership skills while serving their community. In Palatine, the Jaycees conduct more than 50 projects each year including Christmas tree sales, a fine art fair, and the Fourth of July celebration. The chapter holds its monthly General Meeting on the third Thursday of the month at 7:30 PM at the American Legion Post 690, 122 W. Palatine Road. For more information on the Palatine Jaycees or any of its sponsored events, go to www.palatinejaycees.org, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call at 847-604-0288. For more information on Camp New Hope, visit http://campnewhopeillinois.org/