CROWN POINT Chad Stephens came for a two-week visit and stayed a year, which was just fine with his hosts.
Stephens, an 8-year-old from Brooklyn, arrived in Crown Point last summer as part of the Fresh Air Fund to stay with the family of Roland and Annette Macey. What was supposed to be a brief stay became a year-long adventure.
Its a good place, Chad said of Crown Point. I like it here. I like the Maceys.
Chads experience is not typical, according to Annette Macey. The Fresh Air Fund places inner-city children with rural families for two weeks in the summer, but Chads situation was unique.
After spending two weeks with the Macey family last summer, Chad returned home only to call the Maceys three days later. He wanted to come back to Crown Point.
Chads mother was having a tough time getting her life straightened around, Annette said. She needed time. We talked with his mom and she came to visit.
It was soon decided Chad would spend the school year with the Macey family although not as part of the Fresh Air program.
His mom really needed help, Roland Macey said. His mother is very young; she was only 13 when Chad was born. She wanted to improve her life and we wanted to help.
While Chad has been in Crown Point his mother completed training and got a job with Homeland Security as an airport screener at Kennedy Airport in New York. She now has an apartment and is expecting Chad home this week.
Now we have a nice place to live, Chad smiled. Its near a baseball field.
Baseball is just one of things Chad has grown to love during his North Country stay. Never having played sports before, hes now a soccer, basketball and baseball fan. This summer he made the Ticonderoga Little League all-star baseball team. He even learned to swim.