NORWICH – Families stood in the parking lot of Weiler Park, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Fresh Air Fund bus and the children who would become part of their families for the next two weeks.
Thirty-seven children set out from the Port Authority in New York City for destinations in Sidney, Bainbridge and Norwich. The Fresh Air Fund is a not-for-profit organization that provides free vacations to New York City children from low income communities. The children, ages 6 to 18, spend time in the summer with a host family residing in a small town, “friendly community” in one of 13 states.
Five children will be residing with Norwich families for the next two weeks. For some of the families this is a new experience. For others, it is a tradition they look forward to year after year.
For Elizabeth Garry and Betsy Von Mechow, this will be the fourth year they have hosted a Fresh Air Fund child, and for the fourth year, they have elected to spend the two weeks with the same child who made the trip out the first year.