Camp Manitoqua 2018

 In Illinois Chapter News

Life Member Pioneers formed a multi-year alliance with Camp Manitoqua in 2018. Located in Frankfort, IL, the camp cares for specific unique groups that oversee an underserved, struggling and/or “at risk” population. Annually, they host 13,000 retreat and outdoor educational guests in addition to 2,600 day and overnight campers. Our first project was to donate, assemble and seal coated outdoor cedar furniture and each piece of furniture was branded with a plate, “Donated By AT&T Pioneer Volunteers.” The Camp followed up with a request asking if we could assist with a conversation area and fire pit. It was not feasible to ask retirees to do such heavy, physical work but we found a way to “answer the call.” We applied for a Pioneers Charitable Foundation Fund Grant to help offset the of hiring a professional landscaper. The project was estimated at $10,000, it came in at $9,122, we were awarded $5,000 and we moved forward. Heavy machinery was brought in to level the ground and decomposed granite was used for the base of the trail and conversation area. The granite will be easy to maintain and it will last for years to come. A fire pit was constructed and a large boulder branded “Donated by AT&T Pioneers 2019” was placed on-site. Volunteers helped to maintain the grounds around the conversation area and they will continue to keep a Pioneer presence at the Camp!

A Ribbon Cutting Ceremony was held at the Camp on 9/25/19. Joining the Life Members and volunteers were Jim Holland – Frankfort Mayor, Laura Vroom – Camp Director, Camp Staff employees and Jeff Adducci – AT&T External Affairs Director. During the ceremony the Camp Director commented, “The conversation area has been a blessing to our campers and retreat guests. We live in a world where people live very busy lives and it is getting more difficult to get people to talk to each other face to face. This area gives them an opportunity to sit, relax and reconnect. The setting is ideal with its location and we have already received positive feedback from those groups who have utilized this space during their events.” The Mayor said it takes volunteers to make a community great and he thanked the Pioneers for their support of Camp Manitoqua.

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