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Angel Campers celebrate with banquet bash

(ROCKWALL, TX – Aug. 1, 2016) Angel Campers and their families gathered for dinner and dancing at the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA at Rockwall gymnasium Saturday, July 30 to celebrate the end of another very special summer day camp.

The banquet included music by DJ Julie Mac of KSCS, dinner and dessert by Dodie’s Cajun Diner at The Harbor and Nothing Bundt Cakes, and party decorations by Wally’s Party Factory. Rockwall Mayor Jim Pruitt addressed the crowd and Rockwall County District Attorney Kenda Culpepper helped present awards like “Best Laugh,” “Most Curious,” and “Best Hugs” to more than two dozen local youth with special needs.

Camper Landon “Nugget” Methvin said a prayer for the evening before assistant camp director Makala “Tom Tom” Methvin and counselor Matt “Buck” Durst reminisced about the fun times had over the summer.

Under the direction of Director Melissa Cotner and several camp counselors, the Angel Campers have enjoyed a summer of horseback riding, bowling, swimming, and field trips – including a ride aboard Seawolf on Lake Ray Hubbard, courtesy of Captain Scott Self and Sail with Scott.

“This is both a joyous and a sad occasion, as we’re going to miss all of our wonderful Angel Campers,” said Bonnie LaVielle, Executive Director of the J.E.R. Chilton YMCA. “We are so appreciative of everyone who helps make this program possible. Angel Camp creates a fun and safe environment where young folks can explore and enjoy new experiences with the support that their special needs require.”

Cotner has been Angel Camp director at the YMCA for the past 5 years, and said she plans to continue next year.

“It’s my purpose in life,” Cotner said. “It is truly an experience that changes the people who work with the kids. I’ve never had a staff member who didn’t have a different outlook on life as a whole after working at Angel Camp. I love to see the impact it has on the kids and on the counselors.”

By Editor Dawn Redig and Blue Ribbon News Reporter Julie Anne White. Photos by Richard Redig and Julie Anne White.

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