Snow was hard to find, but the 47th annual Dysart’s Snowmobile Ride-in and Q106.5 Egg Ride to benefit Pine Tree Camp took the show on the road. The Q106.5 egg riders continued the unique fundraising tradition of stuffing raw eggs down their shirts before hopping on the flatbed trucks for a parade led by Maine Game Wardens. Each egg represented a $50 pledge with all proceeds directly supporting Pine Tree Camp’s Campership Fund.
One of those riders was Austin, a 12-year-old snowmobile racer from Levant.
“This was my first time fundraising,” he said. His pitch was simple. “’Would you like to donate to the Pine Tree Camp Egg Ride? It’s only $50 for one egg.’ Some people had heard of Pine Tree Camp and some hadn’t. And if people hadn’t, I’d explain that it’s a place where people with disabilities can go to camp.”
Austin’s family is overwhelmed by the response. He originally hoped to raise $750. Instead, he more than tripled that goal with donations continuing to come in.
“We live in a small community and it’s been phenomenal,” said his mother, Heather. “His hard work and dedication makes us feel proud that’s for sure.”
They have good reason to be proud.
“Austin has always had a special gift with kids and adults who have disabilities,” she continued. “He has a big heart and takes the extra step to help people out and make sure everyone feels involved.”
This summer, Austin and his family will take that a step further and volunteer at Pine Tree Camp together.
“It’s important to us to take part in the Pine Tree Camp experience and see what all this hard work has gone toward,” said Heather. “We can’t wait. Come on summer!”
Camp Director, Dawn Willard-Robinson sees first hand the difference Pine Tree Camp makes in the lives of Maine children and adults with disabilities.
“Thanks to Austin, and so many donors around Maine, we will be able to welcome 650 campers to Pine Tree Camp this summer,” she said. “But the impact isn’t just about the six days they are at Pine Tree Camp. It’s the beginning of a positive ripple effect that lasts a lifetime. This support will transform lives.”