In May, 2016, seven months after the first boards were painted blue by volunteers at Hart to Hart Farm and Education Center in Albion, Maine, the community came together to honor Cassidy with a dedication and official opening of Cassidy’s Kitchen.
Cassidy attended Hart to Hart Farm Camp for seven summers as a youth, where she “adopted” and cared for sheep, goats, piglets and calves and enjoyed learning about life on a working farm. In her memory, owner s Doug and Linda Hartkopf, and over 100 people in the community, came together on October 11, 2015 (the one-year mark of her passing) to build a three-season, fully functional kitchen to be used for educational programming for campers and adults.
Farm owner Linda Hartkopf called the creation of Cassidy’s Kitchen “a true labor of love” for so many people affected by Cassidy’s passing, “This is the “something I can do” that everyone reaches for to honor Cass and support her family. We are so grateful to everyone who contributed time and resources to make Cassidy’s Kitchen a reality. They are all part of Cassidy’s legacy of giving back and spreading kindness, ” she said.
Farm Camp was a special place for Cassidy and her brother Colby. It fostered their love and respect for animals, and for hardworking people, like the Hartkopfs, who make agriculture their life’s work. There were many summer camp options, but when asked if Cass had to choose just one, without hesitation, it was always Farm Camp!
The 376 square-foot structure cost about $10,400 in materials to build. People in the community raised all of that, plus provided additional in-kind gifts, like appliances, tables, windows and lighting, totaling over $6,000. The greatest gifts, were the endless hours of volunteer time. While a bulk of the initial work was accomplished on Oct. 11, 2015, volunteers worked tirelessly on weekends, holidays and evenings to do the finish carpentry work, install electricity and appliances and put the final touches on the building before the celebration in 2016.
The kitchen that love built. Her light will Shine on forever in Cassidy’s Kitchen.
The Foundation is honored to award a ShineOnCass Farm Camp Scholarship each year in memory of Dylan Hartkopf, son of Doug and Linda Hartkopf, who lost his battled with addiction in 2017. Each year, the Foundation provides the experience of a week at Farm Camp to a child with a family member facing addiction.
For information about applying for this scholarship, please contact Shine On Cass Foundation.