Kids donate bracelet sales to Animal Rescue of the Rockies
They had brightly-colored rubber bands and a sales pitch.
Denver siblings Cece Hecklinger, 10, and Spencer Hecklinger, 12, teamed up with their cousins from Austin, Evan Schaffer, 9, and Emily Schaffer, 13, while they were vacationing in Breckenridge to make roughly 40 bracelets.
Their goal was to raise money for a thrift store on Main Street called For Pet’s Sake, which donates all proceeds to the nonprofit Animal Rescue of the Rockies.
“We all like animals,” Evan said. “We thought we could make a business out of this.”
The four children had previous fundraising experience after they collaborated in December to sell $60 worth of balloon animals in Austin and donate the money to a no-kill shelter there. This time, they hoped to raise $70 or $80, and after their bracelets didn’t sell inside the Breckenridge thrift store, they took to the street.
They earned $126.51 while giving bracelets to kids and adults and asking for donations at Prospector Park on Saturday, July 25, and Sunday, July 26. Rainbow and sports-team colors sold the best, they said.
When they presented a large pink check to For Pet’s Sake employee Dorothy Shultz and volunteer Paige Beville, Beville was brought to tears and matched their donation.
“Here were these kids who, on their own, decided while they were on vacation to use their free time making these bracelets and raising money for animal rescue,” she said. “They were so sweet.”
Karen Martiny, founder and executive director of Animal Rescue of the Rockies, said she was impressed and grateful. The nonprofit will use the money to spay and neuter pets. With the match, the funds could pay for sterilization of seven cats or about four dogs.
Each animal spayed or neutered equals thousands of offspring never produced that won’t further overpopulate animal shelters and contribute to euthanized pets, she said, and about four million are euthanized in the U.S. every year.
Formed in 2003, the nonprofit’s annual budget is about $375,000, and it adopts out roughly 650 pets every year, evenly split between dogs and cats. Martiny said the organization owes its success to pet foster homes in Summit, Park, Eagle and Lake counties as well as the Denver metro area and northern Front Range.
Besides supporting the thrift store, Evan said, he hopes other children are inspired by the group’s actions.
“We also want other kids to make other stuff with their creativity and also donate it to a shelter,” he said.
“’Cause they can only do so much to help the animals,” Cece added.
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