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Serious fun(ds): How A&F Challenge combines festival with fundraiser

614now Staff

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Crafting, archery, a check up with a cardiologist, and a campfire sing-a-long; the daily agenda for a camper at Flying Horse Farms in Mount Gilead Ohio might not be completely typical, but for the kids who attend, it’s often the best week of summer.

Flying Horse Farms is part of the SeriousFun Children’s Network, which lets kids with serious illnesses–including cancer, heart disease, blood disorders, and other medical conditions–attend camp every summer, at no cost to kids or their families.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.  raises money to support Flying Horse Farms and SeriousFun’s other 15 camps around the world by hosting the annual A&F Challenge at its New Albany headquarters.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Associate Anna Ankenbauer, who manages the A&F Challenge, described the event as a “fundraiser meets festival.”

On September 7, Abercrombie’s campus will transform for a camp-inspired evening, complete with archery, hot air balloon rides, a zipline, “Camp Fitch” for kids, and an optional 5k.

Improving on the food that summer camp is known for, local food trucks will be onsite, with unlimited drinks and munchies included in the $75 ticket.

The event includes a full night of music, featuring performances by Fitz and the Tantrums, and Judah and the Lion.

Anna Ankenbauer, who spearheads the camp, first volunteered as a counselor at Flying Horse Farms in 2016. She was, in her words, a little nervous.

“I was terrified, to be completely honest… [but] once I got there, Flying Horse Farms is magical,” she said. “it’s honestly one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.”

Ankenbauer spent her week with the 7-8 year old girls. “It’s really a jam-packed week filled with pretty much everything you can imagine at summer camp, from canoeing to fishing to singing and dancing before and after mealtimes… I totally forgot about everything else except hanging out and playing with these kids.”

Each week, Flying Horse Farms brings in volunteer doctors specializing in campers conditions, who work alongside the camp’s regular full-time medical staff.

During heart week, for example, the head  cardiologists from Cleveland Clinic Children’s and Dayton Children’s hospitals are on-site.

Campers are able to receive treatment for their illnesses while also getting a week to experience summer camp. All activities are adaptable so that all campers can participate, even if their illnesses would normally prevent them from doing so.

Ankenbauer said she was impressed by the way camp staff made everyone feel comfortable.

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“At mealtimes, you know, if one kid has to take medicine, everyone’s taking medicine, everyone’s taking a vitamin. We’re all living this together.”

Abercrombie & Fitch Co.’s partnership with SeriousFun started in 2011, when some employees decided to volunteer at Flying Horse Farms.

This caught the attention of the company’s philanthropy committee, who learned that SeriousFun’s international sites aligned with the company’s global footprint.

In 2016, the company made a five year, $15 million commitment to the cause. It also sends over 100 employees to volunteer at SeriousFun camps around the world every summer, covering their travel expenses and time off.

Being a camp counselor for a week forces adults out of their comfort zones. Ankenbauer recounted the first time one of her campers caught a fish.

“Little did I know that at Flying Horse Farms they have the tradition where you have to kiss the fish.” They call it “catch, kiss and release,” and the tradition applies to counselors and campers alike. Ankenbauer was glad to do whatever it took—even kissing fish—to make sure her campers had a fantastic week.

“Being able to spend time with these little girls—to watch them transform from being afraid and nervous and reserved into like dancing and singing little girls on the stage by the end of the week—is incredible,” she said.

For campers, the impact of camp lasts long beyond their week at Flying Horse Farms.

“I feel like camp has given me the strength to rise,” said 15-year-old camper Marin Henry. “It has given me the power to do things I never would have done. It has given me the guts to have a voice. Camp is the happiness in the world. It’s my anchor.”

Campers’ parents report improvement in their children’s self-esteem, confidence, independence and social skills following their week at camp.

Many campers attend the A&F Challenge, and you may also find them running the 5K right beside you, as Henry did last year. Ankenbauer wants you to know that you (yes, you!) are cordially invited to attend.

“The Challenge is an amazing event for the Columbus community to come to. We’d love to host as many people from around the city as we can. There’s something for every age, and, I mean, ultimately, you’re partying for a cause. All of the fundraising and all of the efforts go back to SeriousFun,” she said

In that case, Columbus, party on 

The A&F Challenge will be held September 7 at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. headquarters in New Albany. To register or to make a donation to SeriousFun, visit anfchallenge.org.

By  / (614) August, 2018

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9 festivals for you to fall in love with this weekend

Mitch Hooper

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Summer may be rounding out, but there are still so many ways to fest outside. From vintage good fairs to rock climbing at the Scioto Audubon, here are the festivals taking place this weekend in the city.

Sept. 12-15 | Scioto Fest | Scioto Audubon Metro Park

This four-day festival is for those with an affinity for the outdoors. Here, adrenaline junkies will find rock climbing and bouldering while land lovers can enjoy camping, music, and all the food offerings.

Sept. 12-14 | Creative Control Fest 8 | Lincoln Theatre

In its eighth year, the Creative Control Fest is back to raise up and celebrate creatives of color from around the midwest. Hang out and learn useful information at one of the many workshops, or get your mind right at one of the wellness activities designed for creatives from a variety of different industries.

Sept. 13-14 | 934 Fest 2019 | 934 Gallery

In a celebration of the art scene here in Columbus, 934 Gallery is opening its doors for two-days this weekend featuring art from Lucie Shearer and Andy Meyer. Additionally, the festival will play host to two music stages, a comedy stage, local artist vendors, food trucks, craft beer, and plenty of activities for your young Picasso.

Sept. 13-15 | Country Living Fair | Ohio Historical Village

Calling all flea market fans and garage sale experts, this is your chance to splurge! This three-day fair offers more than 200 vendors from across different states selling vintage and handcrafted goods as well as antiques. Stop by one of the how-to sessions, or simply fill up your Pinterest mood board with loads of ideas.

Sept. 13-14 | Columbus Caribbean Festival | The Scioto Mile

In its third year, the Columbus Caribbean Festival has returned to The Scioto Mile for two days of live music, delicious island-inspired food and drinks including Taste Of Kingston and The Gumbo Dude Food Truck, and a parade. The music lineup includes Pete Funk, BAND AMANIAUZURI, and The Flex Crew.

Sept. 13-15 | 2019 Grandview Oktoberfest | Hofbrauhaus Columbus (Grandview)

Another weekend in September, another chance to celebrate the German Oktoberfest! This time around it's at Hofbrauhaus where live entertainment will clash with German food and bier as well as activities for little ones. Friday will feature WCOL-FM from 6pm- 8pm, while Saturday will host a face painter and balloon artists from 2pm- 6pm. And if you couldn't make it to the face painter on Saturday, they will return on Sunday from 1pm- 4pm in addition to a magician.

Sept. 14 | Crafted Food, Beer & Music Festival | Columbus Commons

From farm-to-table-to-festival, the Crafted Food, Beer & Music Festival brings nine different Columbus restaurants together to showcase their offerings. For $15, you can enjoy live music from George Barrie Band and The Floorwalkers, stuff your face, and know that you're doing some civic good as a portion of proceeds will benefit Freedom a la Cart, an organization providing paid workforce training and supportive services to survivors of human trafficking.

Sept. 14 | Oktoberfest Party | Wolf's Ridge Brewing

Wolf's Ridge is getting in on the Oktoberfest action and on Saturday you can find brats, spaetzle, and of course, WRB's very own Oktoberfest bier. If you really want to feel the Oktoberfest vibes, purchase a $14 stein and hoist it high!

Sept. 14 | Old Hilliardfest | Main St. in Old Hilliard

This street fair takes place in Old Hilliard where visitors can explore car shows and sunflower shows as well as all the fixings of most festivals: live music, food, and activities for kids at the kid's fair. Support local, and have fun while doing so!

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Let’s play FREE ball! Clippers weekend win means more dime-a-dogs

Mike Thomas

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Over the weekend, our Columbus Clippers topped the Gwinnett Stripers to clinch the series, earning them a spot in the Governors' Cup Finals!

Games 1 and 2 of the Governors' Cup Finals best-of-5 series against the Durham Bulls will be played at Huntington Park on September 10 and September 11. Both games will start at 6:35pm, gates open at 5:30pm.

As if that weren't enough to entice you, all games in the first round will be dime-a-dog! 

Tickets for Games 1 and 2 are FREE! They will be available beginning Monday at 10am via Ticketmaster (no fees!), by calling 614-462-2757, or by stopping by either our Administrative Offices from 10am-4pm or the CF Box Office on the corner of Neil and Nationwide from 10am-2pm.

Tickets will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a limit of four per order. For more information including the complete playoff schedule, click here.

https://twitter.com/CLBClippers/status/1170728807940186113
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Amazon Treasure Truck returns to Columbus this weekend with exclusive deals

Mike Thomas

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Whether you missed out on the Prime Day deals, or simply want to keep the savings rolling, Amazon is offering a unique new way to score deals in Columbus. This weekend, the juggernaut of online retail is once again bringing its Treasure Truck to the 614.

The concept is simple: Customers can sign-up for text message alerts revealing the day’s treasure, which could range from trending tech and the latest gear to seasonally relevant products. Sign up for text message notifications by texting “truck” to 24193.

After customers place their order on Amazon, they then select a convenient pickup location and time slot to get their item. In addition to the iconic trucks, customers can pick up their treasure at newly-launched vans, as well as kiosks located in select Amazon Books, Amazon Go, Whole Foods Market stores, and more.

To learn more and to sign up for alerts, click here, or sign up for text message notifications by texting “truck” to 24193. Don't sleep on these deals—the Treasure Truck will be rolling on to the next locale before you know it!

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