Camp for children with autism receives generous donation

Camp for children with autism receives generous donation

CHICO, Calif. - Staff and volunteers for the Freedom and Elements Program were ecstatic Wednesday morning about the $15,000 donation from two Chico companies that might keep the camp going next year.

According to camp staff one out of 68 children is born with autism. The camp hasn't operated for three years because there hasn't been enough money.

Applause erupted when a giant check from Cleanrite-Buildrite was presented to the staff.

The company teamed up with Farmers Insurance and raised the money at a charity golf tournament. The program gave 13 students the chance to live out the college life at Chico State for three days.

The university allowed them to stay in the dorms, eat at the cafeterias, and explore their talents. Students organized and performed a musical for their friends and family.

Staff members said the money couldn't have come at a better time.

"It's really going to pay all of our bills for this year, and it will help us a little bit for kick starting next year's camp,"said Chico State professor and camp organizer, Rebecca Lytle. "So we are very excited to receive the check."

Staffers said camp expenses are about $10,000 each year. The camp also serves as a summer school class for teachers training in special education.

Organizers believe this camp is very important for autistic children. It's breaks away from their daily routine they are used to and improves on their communication skills.

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