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Dick LaBlond, the owner of the Chicken Connection, gives a check for the ongoing charity drive to send kids from the Haverhill Boys Club to camp Tasker in Newton N.H., to Shawn Menzie, the executive director of the Boys Club. With them are some of the kids going to the camp this year, in the back row, right to left, Alex Alvarez, 12, Eduardo Gonzalez, 9, middle row, Henry Reynoso, 12, Christian Reynoso, 10, Austin Colby, 8, and in front, Edward Gonzalez, 9, all from Haverhill. Last year LaBlond was able to help raise over $3500 and hopes to reach or exceed that amount this year to help kids who live in a city environment to get to swim and fish and boat when they normally wouldn't get to. They need to raise $75 for a kid to go to camp for a week, and hope to send 50-100 kids this year for a week or two each.

A empty water jug stands by the cash register at the Chicken Connection willing customers to donate spare change or a few dollars so needy children in the city can go to summer camp.

The jar helps pay for camperships to the Haverhill Boys' Club's Camp Tasker on Country Pond in Newton, N.H.

It's a passion for Chicken Connection owner Dick LaBlond, who knows he went to Camp Tasker as a child only through the generous donations of others.

His family had little money and could not afford to send him and his brother. To this day he has no idea who paid for them to go, but he believes it was through camperships provided by anonymous donors. He is grateful and every year tries to do the same for others.

Last year LaBlond was able to raise over $3,500. This year he hopes to reach or exceed that amount so children who live in the city will get to experience the country and swim, fish and boat.

The cost is $75 dollars for a child to attend camp for a week and LaBlond would love to be able to send 50 to 100 children.

People can also sponsor a child for a summer. One large contributor has been Merrimack Valley Townsmen, a local barbershop chorus.

For information, call Shawn Menzie at 978-374-6171, Dick LaBlond at 978-373-4300 or stop by The Chicken Connection at 242 Broadway and make a donation.

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