“The summer has been filled with visitors such as the town’s Mayor, Animal Control Officer Dale and even Hopatcong’s new ‘junior police officer’ dog Eli,” said director Anita Plantamura. “Activities included fishing competitions, rain gutter races, golf tournaments and countless arts and crafts projects all related to Hopatcong and its’ history.”
This year, as the fourth of July was approaching, the children and staff began discussing the annual fireworks on the lake.
“When I informed the children that the fireworks were shot off from the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club where an amusement park once stood, they were surprised and excited to learn more,” Plantamura said.
According to Plantamura when she reached out to the Yacht Club to see if a speaker could come visit the Center she was offered much more.
“I was greeted with a very pleasant surprise; an invitation for myself, my staff and the children to actually visit the Yacht Club,” Plantamura said. “This would be our Center’s first summer field trip, and what better a place for them to see first-hand but the beautiful Yacht Club.”
Plantamura said it was then that things hit a snag.
“I realized the cost of a bus to transport the children to and from the Yacht Club was out of my budget,” Plantmura said.
Fortunately, before she had to break the news to the children, the Yacht Club intervened.
“The Yacht Club was willing to pay for the bus to transport the children to and from their facility,” Plantamura said. “I was overwhelmed with gratitude over such a heart-warming gesture. This generous donation allowed for nearly 25 children to visit a beautiful establishment they might never have the opportunity to see otherwise. “
Plantamura said that the Club’s George Malanga and his wife Jill acted as host and hostess for the group.
“They were extremely informative and patient when it came to answering the children’s questions and pointing out all of the Yacht Club’s beautiful features,” Plantamura said. “The experience was made that much more special because George was dressed in his full-dress Commodore uniform.”
Plantamura said the students were intrigued, respectful and in awe of the gorgeous building and its surroundings.
“This trip was truly a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of these children, and one I can ensure they won’t soon forget,” Plantamura said.