Summer camp for Carson area youths will now be led by a flock of eagles.
The Carson City Fraternal Order of Eagles Lodge 1006 has volunteered to take over Camp Sundowner at the Clear Creek Youth Facility. The camp for hearing- and speech-impaired children takes place each July.
Eagles State President Frank "Pappy" Papaianni has organized a group of 26 volunteers, who are planning fund-raisers for camp expenses.
"The Sierra Sundowner Sertoma started the camp five years ago," Papaianni said. "I was a member of the group. When we disbanded, I brought the idea to the Eagles to see if they wanted to continue it. Overwhelmingly, they did."
Located at the end of Clear Creek Road, the camp offers youth four days and nights of activities, crafts, games and more. The cost of sponsoring a youth is $300. The Eagles want to send 35 children to the camp, so the goal is to raise $15,000.
"All proceeds from our fund-raisers will be used to sponsor the kids and cover expenses, nothing else," Papaianni said. "Not one penny goes to paying anybody."
The first fund-raiser scheduled is a poker run on Oct. 5. The run will have five stops -- Camp Sundowner, Nevada State Railroad Museum, Bully's, Tequila Dan's and Ed's Dog House.
Co-chairs for the event are Dale and Robin Ecklund, who have created some fun clues and rules for the poker run.
"Every participant will receive a dash plaque," Robin said. "The run is open to everybody -- clubs, individuals on motorcycles, in trucks or cars. It's going to be lots of fun."
The run will begin with check-in from 9-10:30 a.m. at the lodge, located at 1380 E. Fifth St. Cost for each hand is $20, additional cards (up to three) may be purchased at the end of the run for $5 each.
Those attending are asked to RSVP before Friday so the Eagles can get an adequate head count for food. A barbecue lunch will be served after the run.
"We're not only seeking financial sponsors, we need volunteers to help us out at the camp in July," Papaianni said.
The Emblem Club of Carson City, auxiliary of the Elks Lodge, has offered to give an ice cream social during camp.
"While at the camp the kids will get three meals a day," Papaianni said. "If they go out on a hike, they will get a sack lunch and will be drinking only bottled water.
"The camp is for kids age 7 to 14, from the Carson Country area. All they do is submit an application. The kids sleep in dormitories and there will be a nurse practitioner on site. One dorm for the boys and one for the girls. And, there's a counselor with each of them."
The camp is used year-round, weather permitting. The state-owned facility is open to the public.
"We really want this to work," Papaianni said. "Usually, the Eagles raise money for a cause then hand over a check. This will be the first time we've taken on a cause, raised the money and administered it. It's completely hands-on for us. All the volunteers are excited about it."
IF YOU GO
What: Camp Sundowner Kids Poker Run
When: 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5
Where: Check-in at Eagles Lodge, 1380 E. Fifth St.
Cost: $20 per hand
RSVP, information: 841-0651, 588-5222 (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.) or 882-9583 after 6 p.m.
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