Residents Turn Out for Annual Kids Benefit

October 14, 2004

The Sammy Event, which raises funds for children’s programs, is one of Quincy’s most successful

By Rodney Hart
The numbers are impressive, but there’s a more poignant reason the Sammy Fund is one of Quincy’s best and most successful fund-raisers.

It’s all about the kids.

“The Sammy Event has been a big boost to us,” says Jim Callahan of Camp Callahan , a summer camp for physically and mentally challenged children. “We depend on these kinds of people to follow us every year, and we really appreciate this. You go up to see the kids having fun at camp, and it makes you feel good about it.”

The fifth annual Sammy Event is Sunday at Westview Golf Course and the Knights of Columbus. It honors Samantha Otte, who died in March 2000 at age 10 after a liver transplant made necessary by cystic fibrosis.

The first event was held in fall 2000, and proceeds were used to establish the Samantha Otte Youth Opportunity Fund with the Community Foundation of the Quincy Area. Samantha’s parents, Chuck and June Otte, work tirelessly with a dedicated committee to organize the event.

Camp Callahan rents the Saukenauk Scout Reservation near Lima from the Boy Scouts. It had about 150 youngsters participate this year during three one-week sessions. The camp has received $6,400 from the Sammy Fund scholarships.

“We don’t turn anybody away who can’t pay,” Callahan said. “We had financial problems a few years ago and we were wondering how we were going to keep it going. Mrs. Otte contacted me and she wanted to see what we were doing.

“She was very intrigued by what we were doing, helping children and the stuff we take care of.”

The fund provides access to worthwhile activities for children and ensures accessibility of programs that provide artistic, leadership and humanitarian opportunities for children.

Since the fund was established with the Community Foundation, 39 grants totaling $50,930 have been awarded to 17 organizations.

Sunday’s golf tournament at Westview has a full field. The public is invited to the K of C on 36 th Street for a $10 grilled pork chop meal, silent auction and children’s activities.

There’s a huge variety of bid items for the silent auction, including a stunt bike, St. Louis Symphony tickets and Rams, Cardinals, University of Missouri and Cubs tickets. There also will be NASCAR collectors’ items, passes to area golf courses, patio furniture, Florida and St. Simons Island condo rentals, a Jerry Eberhardt framed wildlife print and many personal care gift certificates.

Doors at the K of C open at 3:30 p.m. The par 3 child/adult tournament starts at 2:30 .

Contact Staff Writer Rodney Hart at or (217) 221-3370.

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