Local campground owner raises $40,000 for Make a Wish

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HOLLENBACK TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – “We’re a small campground with a big heart. That’s what it boils down to,” Janet Lightner, owner of Moyer’s Grove Campground in Hollenback Township, said.

Janet Lightner wanted to raise $40,000 for the Make a Wish Foundation to commemorate the organization’s 40th anniversary. On Wednesday she realized she reached her goal.

And it isn’t the first year Lightner has raised money for the non-profit that fulfills wishes for critically ill children.

“It all started with a little boy in our campground who was sick. And the campers suggested I look into the Make a Wish Foundation because he was going downhill pretty fast,” Lightner said.

The camper was granted a wish through the foundation, and currently has a family of his own. That first year, Lightner raised $2,000 and she has been holding fundraisers annually for the last 36 years.

Each year, neighbors, campers, and local businesses pitch in to help Lightner reach her goal. She holds also hold many events, including a duck derby, to help fund-raise.

“$2,000 went to $5,000, $5,000 went to $10,000 and with the virus that we had this year, I’m very happy we hit $40,000,” Lightner said.

Just three days ago one sign read $36,000. Lightner tells Eyewitness News the Melania Trump campaign event held over the weekend across the street from her campground helped raise that remaining $4,000.

“This campground was so full of people. And I had the store open and they saw my sign that I raise money for Make a Wish. And they just kept coming in and putting money in my container. And I just kept saying ‘Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!’,” Lightner said.

Lightner says the $40,000 check is already on its way to the Pittsburgh Make a Wish Foundation office, but she’s says she’s still going to continue raising money until her campground season ends.

You can drop off your donation at the Moyers Grove Campground store, or reach Lightner at the campground at 570-379-3375. You can find out more about the fundraiser here.

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