Thanks for making JC Workcamp a success

To the editor:

The members of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church and the wonderful folks of Juniata County joined together to make the lives of many area citizens better by hosting a Group Workcamp. Group Cares is a non-profit organization based in Loveland, Colorado. Each year they help organize and run camps, in conjunction with local co-sponsors, such as the one in Mifflintown, across the country.

Group Workcamps are an inter-denominational experience. The week of June 22-28, 397 youth and adult chaperones from seven states worked on 64 Juniata County homes completing 52 of the work sites. On behalf of the Juniata County Workcamp Committee I want to say thank you to the following businesses, churches and organizations who helped make it an amazing, life changing experience for so many.

Outstanding services and equipment were donated by Juniata Lumber & Supply, Cocolamus Creek Disposal, Mifflintown Storage, Jay Fulkroad & Sons, Mifflintown Equipment Rental and the many businesses and individuals that loaned ladders for the week.

Businesses offering discounts included Mexico Market, Buttonwood Mini Golf, Juniata River Adventures, Juniata Junction, Losch’s Little Store, Pizza Town, Red Zone, Central Juniata Park Pool, Creme Stop and Pizza and Sub Shack

Quilts, snacks, welcome signs/banners, thank you posters and miscellaneous items were donated by St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, East Salem UMC, Cedar Grove COB, Trinity Lutheran, Bunkertown COB, First Baptist Church, Dairy Princess, Thrivent Financial, Mifflintown Lions Club, Curt Gutshall, Aldersgate UMC, Juniata County 4-H Quilters, Mary Speece, Mifflin-Juniata Quilting Guild, Messiah Lutheran Church Quilters, Port Royal Lutheran Church Quilters, St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church Sew-n-Sew’s, Mifflintown Kiwanis, The River, Faith Community Church, Project X, Orchard Hills Storage, Juniata County Courthouse employees, Rainbow Connection Day Care, Trinity Lutheran Church Vacation Bible School (which also included Pine Grove UMC and Lost Creek Presbyterian Church) Sonbeam Learning Center, St. Stephen’s Sunday School, Participants of United Cerebral Palsy Juniata Valley, Juniata Mennonite School, Zumba instructor Tierney Hostler and a very special map created by Misty Hoover. Crosses given to all campers were made by Richard and Deb Hackenberger.

Monetary Donations of $500 or more came from St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church, Aldersgate UMC, Mexico Full Gospel Mission, Brown’s UMC, Centre Lutheran, Lost Creek Pres., Trinity Lutheran, River Church of JC, Free Spring COB, Lower Tuscarora Presbyterian Church, KSM Log Homes, Sausman Insurance, United Way of Mifflin-Juniata, Truss Tech Inc., American Legion Post 298, Mifflintown Lions Club, Abundant Blessings, Faith Community Church, East Salem UMC.

There were also many area volunteers with carpentry skills who took time out of their busy schedules to help with pre-camp work and/or by helping less skilled crews during the week of camp that were assigned jobs building handicapped-accessibility ramps. Those included Mike Savercool, Curt Houtz, Arlen Saner, Jeff Whitesel, Mike Horning, Chris Kuhn, Phil Lupolt, Brent Wagner, Chuck Queitzsch, Roger Whitesel and Jim Whitesel.

Volunteers who helped paint were Don Geedey and Ed Beaver. Local volunteers will be finishing the work that was not completed by the workcampers. Warren Wagner and Mike Savercool built sawhorses prior to camp for the campers to use.

Special thanks go to the Juniata County School District and Mr. Bennett for use of Tuscarora Junior High School, and my great committee consisting of Mindy Musser, Richard Hackenberger, Don Bratton, Tim Varner, Jane Wagner, Marie Mulvihill, Brad Kerstetter and Mitch Kepner. I can’t possibly say thank you enough to everyone who helped make this dream become a reality. It was truly a blessing beyond words.

Kathy Whitesel

Juniata County Workcamp 2014 Organizer