News

Local family adds one

ALLISON SMITH

Kimora Williams has waited patiently for this week.

For her, the better part of July will be filled with pleasures familiar to Canadian children: afternoons at the pool, hours of fun at local attractions and other simple summer pleasures.

The inner-New York City youth is among 34 other children here to visit Niagara with the Fresh Air Fund program.

The not-for-profit agency provides free summer vacations to thousands of New York City children who would otherwise not get the opportunity. She was matched with the Marsh family, which includes Anna and David and their four children, Emily 8; Tim, 7; Ben, 5 and Philip, 3. Seven-year-old Kimora Williams will be a guest at their Port Robinson home.

Mom Anna said the family is glad to have the chance to meet and help a child who may not have the opportunities theirs are used to receiving. "For us, the motivation is more spiritual," said Anna, adding she feels her family has been "blessed by God," and wanted to give something back. The Marshes have a full agenda; they met Mayor Henry D'Angela at city hall last week and were to visit Niagara Falls and Port Dalhousie. They also plan to enjoy swimming lessons at Thorold's McMillan Park pool.

Williams, who comes from a family of four brothers and three sisters back in Brooklyn, NY, is new to the Fresh Air Fund and visiting Canada for the first time. She said she's looking forward to the activities she'll be enjoying - especially visiting the famous Falls and swimming in the pool.

There are 27 children visiting St. Catharines, Thorold and Niagara Falls via the Fresh Air Fund program, up about 10 from last year, said fund representative Eileen Lucas, adding many families have become aware of the program thanks to publicity.