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Friendship Wagon Train to pass through Austin

Assembly Day

Friday at the Whispering Pines Ranch, 1914 Fourth St. SE

noon to 8 p.m.


Departs Whispering Pines Ranch at 9 a.m. to Lansing to Brownsdale


Brownsdale to Hayfield to McColley Farm


McColley Farm to Wasioja to West Concord


West Concord to Nerstrand

Wednesday, June 23

Fuchs Farm to Transburg Farm to Northfield

Thursday, June 24

Northfield to Stanton to Cannon Falls

Friday, June 25

Cannon Falls to Goodhue

Saturday, June 26

Final ceremony in Goodhue

Total distance: 124 miles

The Friendship Wagon Train will stop in Austin Friday to kick off its annual week-long trek to raise funds for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

The train consists of more than 100 volunteers who travel each day in wagons pulled by horses or mules to collect money for Camp Winnebago.

The camp, located near Caledonia, Minn., works with children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Monica Davis, train volunteer coordinator, said that in 2009, $30,000 was raised and the group hopes to do as well or better this year.

“We want to earn as much as we can. With the way the economy is, you just don’t know how you’ll do. If we can go over $30,000, that’d be great,” she said.

Volunteers solicited donations before the tour began, and a peddler wagon will sell souvenir T-shirts, hats, bandanas, pins and more during the trip; cash donations may also be made at any time.

One hundred percent of donations benefit the camp, Davis said.

The trip kicks off in Austin at the Whispering Pines Ranch, 1914 Fourth St. SE, all day Friday — with most of the action happening between noon and 8 p.m.; the weeklong tour wraps up in Goodhue next Saturday, June 26.

Volunteers are welcome to join or visit the tour at any stop, for any length of time, Davis said.

A variety of organizations will provide meals to volunteers along the route, including The Austin Morning Lions, The Austin Noon Lions, ladies of Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church and United Methodist Church.

For more information about Camp Winnebago, go to www.campwinnebago.org.