Kieve-Wavus hosted its ninth annual family camp for families affected by the Sept. 11 tragedies. Individuals and families from a number of New York Fire Department firehouses and Cantor Fitzgerald in New York as well as the Pentagon all arrived at Kieve for another magical week on the shores of Damariscotta Lake.

“It was a truly an awesome week and the kids cried when we left,” said Debbie McSweeney, whose husband was a fireman with FDNY Ladder Co. 3. “Kieve has given us so much peace and healing power and these are weeks that my children will never forget.”

According to 9/11 Family Camp Director Russ Williams, “Thanks in part to the beautiful weather provided by Mother Nature, we had another incredible week together.”

Part of the success of this week is the local community’s involvement. Kieve sends thanks to the many local businesses and sponsors, including Yellowfront Grocery, Big Al’s Super Values, The Pemaquid Fisherman’s Co-op, Mook Sea Farm, Weatherbird, Hannaford, Artsake Framing, Judy and Louis Doe, Round Top Ice Cream, Flowers by Judy Doe, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, North Center Foods, Awshucks Oyster Shucker, Gritty McDuff’s and Shipyard Brewing. In addition to all of the discounts or donations by these businesses, Kieve sends thanks to the individuals who helped raise the funds each year to offer this expense-free week for these individuals and families.

“We are still seeking funding for this camp as it becomes harder to find donations the further away from Sept. 11, 2001, we get,” Williams said. “Our goal is to be able to offer this wonderful expense-free week through the 10-year anniversary and hopefully for many years to come.”

Kieve would also like to recognize and thank the volunteers who helped make this year’s camp a special success: Bill, Ann, Liz and Topher Mallory, Rich and Mimi Roughgarden, Bob and Judy Linker, Ron Gerard, Janice and Doug Burke, Alan Baldwin, Dan Unruh, Henry Chance, Jeff Hinck, Eileen Murray, Susan Weiser-Mason, Helen Aylward, Abi Morrison, and Gary Stone. “Once again these individuals along with local businesses and our staff helped make this another very special week for our friends from Washington, D.C., and New York,” Williams said.

One of the evenings the firemen took over the kitchen and prepared a delicious Italian dinner for everyone with the help of Chef Dan Unruh followed by fun and laughter by juggler Brent McCoy from Vermont. Once again there was great live music and dancing by Bruce Marshall. For the ninth year the Pemaquid Fisherman’s Co-op provided an authentic lobster bake including oysters, smoked clams, onions, mussels and clams, corn and eggs. This year’s delicious blueberry cake was made by Jeff Hinck, chef at Schooner Landing. The final evening included a performance by bagpiper Chris Pinchbeck from Hope that was very emotional for all.

Sept. 11, 2001, changed the world and changed lives. Kieve has had a unique opportunity to share its beautiful campus, wonderful staff and volunteers with these special families. “It is very rewarding for all of our staff and volunteers to be able to help these very special friends who really appreciate our local community and being here in Maine,” Williams said.