As 2008 winds down, we look back on the fantastic year we've had at Anokijig. Thousands of children and families re-connected with each other and with nature, all while having the time of their lives. It was a challenging year in many aspects for us. We're still working hard every day to eliminate the debt incurred to save Anokijig and we're happy to report we're on schedule to have our principal balanced reduced to approximately $4.1 million as of January 1st, which is down significantly from the original purchase price of $5.5 million just three years ago.
We were unsure how our summer attendance would turn out. We had hundreds of children on our waiting list in 2007 and decided it was appropriate to expand our capacity for 2008. As time went on, we grew concerned that the economy would not allow as many families the opportunity to send their children to Anokijig in 2008. Fortunately, families found a way to make it work and we again experienced record attendance in 2008.
Unfortunately, the economic outlook for 2009 still doesn't look good. Anokijig is still one of the most affordable traditional youth summer camps in the country and with the wide variety of program areas and specialty camping options available, Anokijig has few contemporaries that can offer anywhere near the same amount of activities for a comparable price. We're hoping families continue to appreciate the importance of an experience at Anokijig in the lives of their children.
We're so thankful for all of our wonderful supporters and hope they will continue to help us provide these amazing opportunities for children and families. Many of you have made multi-year pledges and we sincerely thank you for your support and confidence in our mission. We hope we have proven our value and that you will consider renewing your pledges to Anokijig. This is especially important, given the fact that some of our supporters who have made pledge commitments simply cannot fulfill them at this time, due to the economic climate.
The kids that need an Anokijig experience don't know how much the Dow Jones has fallen or what the tax implications of a new administration could mean for them. They just know that Anokijig is a very special place, that they'd miss very much, if they weren't able to come next year.
In the coming weeks, many of you will receive a request for support from Anokijig. We hope you will support our ongoing efforts to serve children and families and thank you very much for your past support and consideration. If you've moved or are not on our mailing list, please visit this link for more information on how you can help Camp Anokijig- https://www.anokijig.com/pledge.htm