Contributed Children line up outside a school bus Friday as they leave Clarke Road en route to Farmtown Canada.

The charity behind a reality TV star’s visit to London is reassuring councillors that it’s worthy of their support.

Farmtown Canada is bringing Jase Robertson, part of the family who appear in Duck Dynasty, to a fundraising event at Budweiser Gardens on Oct. 12.

But Coun. Joni Baechler spoke up at a recent council meeting to express concerns the children’s charity isn’t based on London, despite using one of this year’s five City of London Days, when Bud Gardens is given over to good causes in the city.

Although Baechler was very clear that she supported such a good cause, she was worried it would mean the City of London Days would be open to anyone.

Now, Kelly Franklin, director of Farmtown Canada, has written all city councillors to explain the charity really does benefit young people in the Forest City.

She wrote: “As you are responsible to the City of London, we would like to remind you of our work specific to London and history.

“Our summer camps see us driving into London to pick up children and youth to come and experience a great week of exploration and personal growth at the farm. They run the entire summer.”
After the camps, she continued, the charity works with other agencies on services like community outreach, peer mentoring and programs to build self-esteem.

“We hope that the above information is helpful and reinforces your decision to support our agency,” Franklin added. “With your support, we are hoping for a positive financial response to support more children and youth.”

At a glance 

— Farmtown Canada says more than 4,500 children and young people have used its programs, camps and services in its seven years as a charity.
— More than 75 per cent of them were from London, the charity says.
— London children have been bussed to camp from  areas including Pond Mills, Dundas/Adelaide, Clarke Road, Kipps Lane and White Oaks.

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