PUNXSUTAWNEY â Fifteen Fresh Air Fund kids â between six and 18 years of age â arrived at SS.C.D. Tuesday.
The boys and girls were welcomed with open arms from local host families for a fun-filled week or more mini-vacation.
Some of the youngsters left their New York City homes for the first time, while others returned to visit the same host family for consecutive summers.
Visiting for the second summer is Jordan Villalongo, eight, of Brooklyn. Heâs staying with the same foster family from last year â Kelli and Jason Stubbe and the newest arrival to the family, Janie Stubbe, all of Indiana.
âWe decided to host a child to really let someone else get to love our town as much as we do,â Kelli said.
In the past, the Stubbe family has taken Jordan on many adventures, such as to drive-ins.
âWe think itâs so neat to see new things through his eyes,â Kelli said. âLast year, when we took him to the drive-in, he asked us what the âshiny thingsâ in the sky were. He never saw stars before.â
This year, the family plans to take Jordan camping, blueberry picking and to the Pittsburgh Zoo.
âThey always take me to parks. I get to meet and play with my new sister Janie, and play with Willy Wonka,â the name of the Stubbesâ family dog, Jordan said.
The Fresh Air Fund has provided a free summer experience to more than 1.7 million children since 1877. This summer, the group is celebrating its 135th anniversary.
For more information on hosting a child through the Fresh Air Fund, contact the fund at 1-800-367-0003 or visit www.freshair.org.