Local Fresh Air pics recognized

A 7-year-old girl from East Elmhurst New York spent a week with a Warren family last August during the Fresh Air Fund Host Family Program. Two pictures taken during the week were among the winners of the Fresh Air Fund’s 2013 photo contest.

All winners were selected from the hundreds of pictures sent in by volunteer host families across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada, reflecting the memorable experiences they shared with their New York City visitors this past summer. Categories include Barefoot Through the Grass, Car Wash Craziness, and Master Bakers.

The Carlson-Feeny’s photos were chosen for the Fun & Games and Summer Sisters categories, and feature Fresh Air visitor Janette Yupa experiencing the simple summertime joys in Pennsylvania with her host family. “We fell in love with Janette on the first day and love sharing our summers with her. I spent a day with her sewing, and I made the girls (daughter Savanna and Janette) and their dolls matching outfits. They had so much fun dressing alike,” commented Yvonne Carlson.

One of the photos was taken at the Jamestown Audubon Society when they went to visit Liberty, the Society’s bald eagle.

She said that is was nice having another child around, as her daughter is an only child, where Janette has both older and younger siblings.

Carlson noted that Janette is bilingual, speaking both Spanish and English. Her parents are from Ecuador.

This was the second year that the child spent time in Warren with the Carlson-Feeneys. When asked if they would host her again next year, Carlson said, “Oh my goodness, yes. We just lover her to death.”

At Christmas, they normally send her gifts, but last year she lived in Brooklyn, and her Christmas was ruined by Hurricane Sandy. So last August they held another Christmas, and “sent her home with twice the number of things that she came with.”

Carlson added that two years ago when Yupa visited in July, Janette and Savanna went to Girl Scout camp and got to ride on the Girl Scout float during the Fourth of July parade. Since the family lives in the country, just staying home is an adventure for a city girl.

All winners were selected from the hundreds of pictures sent in by volunteer host families across 13 states from Virginia to Maine and Canada, reflecting the memorable experiences they shared with their New York City visitors this past summer. Categories included Barefoot Through the Grass, Car Wash Craziness, and Master Bakers.

The Fresh Air Fund, an independent, not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences to more than 1.7 million New York City children from low-income communities since 1877. For more information on hosting a Fresh Air child next summer, contact Brenda Whyte at 1-814-723-1238 or visit The Fresh Air Fund online at www.freshair.org.