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June 2, 2004

Entergy Employees Give Powerful Support to Camp Hollis

Camp Hollis is receiving powerful support from Entergy Nuclear this year. In addition to a monetary donation, the staff of Entergy Nuclear helped to prepare the camp for the summer season, made improvements, and will participate in workshops for campers.

Camp Hollis is a co-ed summer camp for Oswego County children eight to 12 years old, located on the shores of Lake Ontario in the town of Oswego. The camp is dedicated to promoting good sportsmanship while stressing conservation and the wise use of our natural resources. Each year, the camp has approximately 800 children participate in a wide variety of activities. School groups, senior citizens, community organizations, church groups, and families also use Camp Hollis each season for a variety of programs and activities.

The camp is owned and operated by the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau. Fees are determined on a sliding scale according to family income. Camp Hollis is also supported by the County of Oswego and the United States Department of Agriculture Summer Feeding Program. Entergy Nuclear donated $15,000 to Friends of Camp Hollis this spring. Entergy has also supported youth in our community by providing a $5,000 donation to the Child Advocacy Center.

"We have a great group of dedicated employees at FitzPatrick who enjoy contributing to the community," said Bonnie Bostian, Manager Communications, Entergy Nuclear. "Our employees select a major community initiative each year and Camp Hollis is it for this year. It is so rewarding to see the results of our work as we help to prepare the camp for the season, but the real reward is in knowing that so many children are benefiting from the camp. We also plan to work with the kids throughout the summer."

This spring, approximately 75 Entergy employees gave up their day off to complete several projects to prepare the camp for the summer. They cleaned the cabins, painted the entryway, cleared the trails, prepared the gardens, and worked on the playground.

"It was a model initiative. The generous work of many over a short period of time accomplished a great deal," said Kathleen Fenlon, Executive Director of the Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Division of Parks and Recreation. "In one day, the Entergy employees accomplished the equivalent of more than two months of maintenance work at the camp."

"Everyone is being asked to do more with less. Oswego County is no exception, and when it was announced that Entergy would work with Camp Hollis as a community initiative, several co-workers discussed what we could do to help in the effort," said Wes Proctor, an employee of Entergy Nuclear. "We decided it would be fun to trade our computers for chain saws to help clear the trails. Although I had briefly been to the camp before, my knowledge of the site and the trails was limited. When we did a walk through of the grounds and the trails, I was impressed with just how nice a site it is, and what a shame it would be if it couldn't be maintained due to budget cuts. Several of us went out in the weeks prior to our first official work day on April 30 to do some preliminary trail clearing, and it has just naturally evolved from there. It's been fun spending time with my co-workers in a non-work setting, and knowing that our young people can only benefit from our efforts is all the satisfaction one could ask for."

In the coming weeks, Entergy employees will be making more improvements to the camp such as planting trees, painting a full-size mural in one of the cabins, and working on the recycling and trash storage areas. Throughout the summer, they'll participate in workshops demonstrating kayaking, bicycle safety, and arts and crafts projects.

"Entergy's generous donation, and the fact that so many Entergy employees are willing to volunteer their personal time to help out, are examples of the outstanding support and appreciation that people in the community have for Camp Hollis. The camp has made a difference in the lives of thousands of children for generations," said Russ Johnson, Chairman of the Oswego County Legislature. "We recognize that the camp is a unique treasure for our youth, families, and people of all ages, and we are very grateful to Entergy. As a major employer in Oswego County, they have taken a leading role in assuring that Camp Hollis will continue for years to come."

The Oswego City-County Youth Bureau, Division of Parks and Recreation is overseen by Oswego County Legislature's Human Resources Committee. The committee includes Chairman Carl Rusaw (District 11, Volney); James Bryant (District 5, Constantia,); Arthur Gearsbeck (District 6, West Monroe, Hastings); Doug Malone (District 20, Town of Oswego); and Paul Santore (District 16, City of Oswego).

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