After that many people make a wish, the amount of coins at the bottom of the well really starts to add up. Each spring we pump the well dry to remove all of the coins and use them to make one deserving student's wish for a better education come true. All of the money collected goes toward a scholarship fund at Camdenton RIII High School.
Over the past few years we have noticed a new trend. People have started to throw paper money into the wishing well. Hundreds of bills are now being collected along with the massive amount of coins, filling numerous 5-gallon buckets that are carried out of Bridal Cave by hand.
Simply getting those buckets out of the cave is a chore by itself, but the hard work doesn't stop there. After being underwater for a year, many of the coins begin to tarnish. They must all be washed before the bank will accept them. The best way we have found to take care of this task is to toss them into concrete mixers with hot water and a mild detergent.
A&B Rental is kind enough to donate these mixers for us to use, and First National Bank donates their time to count all of the coins. From beginning to end, the entire process of removing, sorting, washing, drying, and counting the money takes up to three weeks!
Now it's time to truly help make someone's wish a reality. Every bit of that hard work is well worth the effort when we are able to grant one deserving Camdenton High School senior with a $1,000 scholarship to the college or trade school of their choice. Since Bridal Cave began doing this in 1969, over one million coins have been collected and over $50,000 in scholarships have been awarded. Past scholarship recipients have gone on to become restaurateurs, accountants, engineers, CAD operations managers, mass communications personalities, teachers, and even chefs.
This is one way that our Lake of the Ozarks scenic attraction gladly gives back to a community that has given us so much love and support. Start thinking now about what you will wish for the next time you visit the wishing well inside Bridal Cave, and the next time you are given a tarnished coin from a cashier, know that there is a good chance that it was from a wish that made someone's dream come true.
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526 Bridal Cave Road
Camdenton, MO 65020