SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara has been able to reach an important milestone in the effort to rebuild the fire damaged area of Camp Whittier.
A month ago, the Mericos Foundation in South Pasadena collaborated with the club on a matching fundraising effort up to $150,000.
That goal was met by the July 8 deadline.
Donations came in all sizes, including pocket change in a "coins for camp" fundraiser. Children and their families brought coins into each club to be part of the effort.
Larger donors, some remaining anonymous, were also involved in time to reach the goal.
"We encouraged our club kids and their families to donate whatever they could and we generated significant dollars from that as well," said Chief Executive Officer Michael Baker. "But we did have major individuals come forward who said I went to that camp as a child, that has great memories, my kids went there, my grand kids went there, we had educators that donated to the cause that had taken their classes there."
Rebuilding is now underway at the 94-acre site across from Cachuma Lake on Highway 154 where several structures were destroyed two years ago during the fire.
The cabins will be rebuilt soon and should be completed in September.
A new Virgil Elings science camp has also been established.