Salvation Army telethon Thursday night will help fund annual summer camp

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Local children sing during a past Salvation Army Summer Music Days Day Camp. The Salvation Army hosts a telethon Thursday from 7 to 9 p.m. on WDNN channel 10 to raise money for the camp, which is free to the children who attend.

Singing, swimming, roasting marshmallows around a camp fire, learning to play a musical instrument.

These are some of the activities awaiting children who attend the local Salvation Army's Summer Music Days Day Camp later this year.

"This is for boys and girls, ages 7 to 12," said Patricia Thompson, event coordinator for the Salvation Army of Whitfield, Murray and Gordon County. "We focus on music and arts. We take referrals from school social workers first. Then we open it up to other children in need. There's no charge to the family. This should have been our 25th year, but after COVID-19 hit, we did not have a camp last year. So this will be our 24th year."

The camp is funded by donations, and Thursday night from 7 to 9 on WDNN channel 10, the Salvation Army hosts the Billie Little Youth Services Telethon. Viewers can call in pledges to (706) 226-2611.

The telethon is named for Dalton resident Billie Little, who helped found the camp and the telethon 25 years ago and is still active with both.

The Salvation Army is hoping to raise at least $30,000, which would allow 60 children to attend the camp.

"It's an experience no child should miss," said Dalton Salvation Army Corps Officer Capt. Arnaldo Pena. "Time spent at camp can be life-changing for kids. It can instill feelings of self-worth, offering them hope for the future."

Those who aren't able to watch the telethon can send donations to the Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1463, Dalton, GA, 30722. Mark donations for "camp."

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