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Vacation in Wynnewood? Why Not!

August 6, 2009 By:
Debra Flax, Jewish Exponent Feature
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Harri and his host sister, Emily

For the third year in a row, Harri Goodwin found a summer escape in Wynnewood.

For the 8-year-old from Manhattan, that meant attending a local camp, playing Wii with his summer siblings, walking their dogs and taking excursions with them to the beach.

Harri just spent two weeks with Barry and Carrie Jacobson as a beneficiary of the Fresh Air Fund, the program heavily promoted by The New York Times that gives inner-city children a chance to get away from city life.

The parents of four considered participating in the program for years, but decided to wait until most of their children moved out before plunging in.

However, when they finally did apply, they were disappointed to be told that without young children at home, "we wouldn't be the most desirable" host family, recalled Carrie Jacobson.

So they were pleasantly surprised when they learned that their name had been requested.

"Harri's mother felt as though it would be a good experience for him to get some teenage/adult attention, being one out six kids himself," said Barry Jacobson.

In fact, Harri's mother was once a beneficiary of the Fresh Air Fund herself.

Despite concerns about how Harri would react to being away, especially since he was only 6 when he first came, Harri said that he was comfortable from the moment he stepped inside.

"I just love everything," Harri said last week, as he jumped on to the couch and into the lap of his "sister," Emily Jacobson, soon to be senior in high school.

During his time locally, Harri attended camp at the Shipley School, participating in activities such as swimming, arts-and-crafts and basketball.

"We're very happy we've had the chance to have him return to us for the last couple of summers," said Carrie Jacobson. "It really gives us a chance to build a lasting relationship with him."

The Jacobsons had thought about taking in another child, but eventually decided against it.

"Harri is an only child at this point and might not like having to share," Carrie Jacobson said as Harri nodded in agreement.

"Harri's our star for those two weeks," Emily said, pulling him into a bear hug. "He's definitely part of the family."

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