It's tough to believe that we're knocking on the door of mid-July, a true indicator that summer in these parts moves way too fast. Once the Boilermaker passes, we seem to begin a slow, downhill stretch toward fall. Those back-to-school sales will be here before we know it.

Of more immediate concern is the 2018 Operation Sunshine summer campership campaign. Agency camps are in full swing, and we've raised $38,434 in our annual effort to help needy families in the area send their kids to camp. Our goal is $65,000.

The beauty of giving to Operation Sunshine is that every dollar you donate goes directly to the cause since the O-D pays all administrative costs. We've done this for 50 years.

It's not a free ride for families. Those seeking financial assistance for camp contact local agencies, which then determine from their family income how much the family can afford to pay. If, for instance, it costs $200 to send a child to camp for a week and the family can afford to pay $100, Operation Sunshine picks up the other half. It's a sliding scale.

Without your help, some needy kids wouldn't every have the opportunity to go to camp. For many, it's their only escape from the city all summer. That's tough for many to imagine, so you might see how very important this is to providing opportunities for children to meet new friends, develop socialization skills and otherwise enjoy an experience others take for granted.

So as we enjoy the blessings of summer, albeit brief, consider a donation to Operation Sunshine. You'll make summer extra special for a child.

Donate to Operation Sunshine

Goal: To raise $65,000 to help families in need send their children to summer camp.

Agencies: ARC of Oneida/Lewis Counties; Boy Scouts, Revolutionary Trails; Girl Scouts, Girl Scouts of NYPENN Pathways Inc.; Catholic Charities-Oneida/Madison Counties; Kamp Kiwanis; Neighborhood Center; Salvation Army of Utica; Salvation Army of Rome; Thea Bowman House; the Kelberman Center.

How to donate

• Online at

• Mail your gift to: Operation Sunshine, 221 Oriskany Plaza, Utica, NY, 13501.

• Call Michele Howgate at 315-792-5003 to make a credit card donation.