Sometimes things don’t always turn out the way you planned. Sometimes they turn out even better! That’s the case with Austin, a 12-year-old snowmobile racer from Levant.

He planned to raise $750 to help Maine kids attend Pine Tree Camp this summer. Instead, he more than tripled that goal with donations continuing to come in.

It was through his love of snowmobiling that he learned about Pine Tree Camp.

His mother, Heather, recalled how he and his grandmother were on the trail and stopped for a break at a local snowmobile club and started talking about different things that go on during the winter months.

“As soon as he learned about the Q106.5 Celebrity Egg Ride to support Pine Tree Camp he said ‘Sign me up!’ and starting raising funds,” she said. “Both Austin and his brother race snowmobiles and we are always out of town and never took part in the event before. Now, we’ll never miss a year again!”

“This was my first time fundraising,” said Austin. His pitch was simple. “’Would you like donate to the Q106.5 Egg Ride to benefit Pine Tree Camp? It’s only $50 for one egg.’ Some people had heard of Pine Tree Camp and some hadn’t. And if people hadn’t, I’d explain that it’s a place where people with disabilities can go to camp,”

His parents are overwhelmed by the response he’s had.

“We live in a small community and it’s been phenomenal,” said Heather. “It’s hard to put into words. There’s so much emotion when you put your heart and soul into it. His hard work and dedication makes us feel proud that’s for sure.”

They have good reason to be proud.

“Austin has always had a special gift with kids and adults who have disabilities,” she continued. “He has a big heart and takes the extra step to help people out and make sure everyone feels involved.”

This summer, Austin and his family will take that a step further and volunteer at camp together.

“It’s important to us to take part in the Pine Tree Camp experience and see what all this hard work has gone towards,” said Heather. “We can’t wait, come on summer!”

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