When you’re little, there are times you can’t wait around for your parents to do things for you, especially if it's really, really important. Sometimes, you just have to take matters into your own hands.
That’s what a group of elementary school kids did recently when they formed The Animal Club of Port Jefferson to support animal shelter in Port Jefferson Station.
Grace Keegan thought up the idea to form a club with her friends to help the shelter. The kids had always talked about someday opening up a veterinary hospital of their own because of their deep love of pets, according to Grace’s father, David.
"Grace mentioned to me that they wanted to give back to the animal community but that they were unsure how best to do so," said David Keegan in an email to Patch. "I suggested they ask Save-A-Pet directly."
The children visited the animal shelter and spoke with the president, Dori Scofield.
"The children came to Save-A-Pet a few weeks back and asked what they could do to help the animals," said Scofield. "They were adorable."
After giving them a tour and spending some time speaking with them the kids decided on a bake sale and a tag sale.
Keegan said that the sale will be held on March 24 in Port Jefferson. They’ve created flyers and for the last three weeks the kids spent their weekends off from school knocking on the doors of businesses around the village telling them about their fundraiser and asking for donations to the auction. Keegan said that the response from the business community has been great and the kids were able to expand the fundraiser to include an auction and prizes.
And not only are the kids doing a good deed but they’re learning something as well.
"I believe it's a small but important lesson in leadership for each of the children," said Keegan. "What better way to learn than through something about which you are so passionate."
The Animal Club of Port Jefferson consists of fifth grader Jonathan Moshe, third graders Brooke Zamek, Grace Keegan, Hailey Hearney and Sarah Moshe, second grader Emily Hearney and Jake Zamek and Jack Keegan who are in first grade. They all have their own animals ranging from traditional pets like fish, hamsters, cats and dogs to a bearded dragon lizard. The Keegans have cats from Save-A-Pet and their grandparents have a dog from the shelter.
So far the kids have received $150 in cash along with the donations for the tag sale and auction.
The event will take place Saturday, March 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 127 South Street in Port Jefferson. The children are still accepting donations of items that can be sold at the tag sale and 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Save-A-Pet.
The kids are excited for their club’s first fundraiser but Keegan said that the way it looks they’ll be up for more.
"Their ideas were flowing," he said. "This is probably not their last event."
Local businesses that donated to the fundraiser include the ones listed below:
- The Beehive Patchworks
- Christina's Handbags
- Gallery 301
- The Village Grocer