Abigail Romano (left) and McKenna Paxton donated $305 to the Trail BC SPCA, which we were proceeds from the first Primary Fundraising Dance hosted by the Grade 3 class at Glenmerry Elementary School. (Submitted photo)

Trail students fundraise for furry friends

Grade 3 students from Glenmerry host dance to help Trail BC SPCA

Abigail Romano might not have a pet, but she did have puppy dog eyes when she looked at her father, Pastor Shaun Romano.

“I love animals and wish I had a pet, that’s why we raised money for the (Trail) BC SPCA, ” she sighed.

Abigail and her friend McKenna Paxton, two Grade 3 students from Glenmerry Elementary School, joined their fondness for all four-legged furries by hosting their first Primary Fundraising Dance, or “PFD” as the girls call it.

With help from their class mates, students from Kingergarten to Grade 3 were invited to the dance in the school’s gym with admission by donation of at least a loonie.

The class also put together a few “fun”raising games of “guess how many candies are in the jar.”

In the end, the dance raised $305 for the Trail BC SPCA shelter.

And, it was fun. So Abigail says the students are already thinking about organizing another fundraising dance in the new year.

This will be the last Christmas, however, that animals will be housed in the Trail shelter.

Work is now underway on the BC SPCA’s new West Kootenay Community Animal Centre, which is located west of the Castlegar airport.

The new site is expected to be open by June 2018.

“We are extremely excited about the new centre and are grateful to the provincial government, the Columbia Basin Trust, the City of Castlegar and all the generous animal lovers who have joined with us to make this urgently needed facility a reality,” said Craig Daniell, chief executive officer of the BC SPCA, at the October ground-breaking.

Daniell says the $2.69-million facility will incorporate modern designs to ensure the highest levels of health and welfare for dogs, cats and small animals, as well as designated areas for temperament and behaviour assessments and specialized isolation areas for sick and injured animals.

“The centre will also have a multi-purpose space that can be used for dog training, SPCA youth camps, workshops and other events for the community,” explained Daniell.

The new West Kootenay facility is part of the BC SPCA’s eight-year Facilities Development and Services Plan to replace or refurbish aging SPCA facilities in 12 communities at a cost of $60 million.

The Province of B.C. has contributed $10 million towards the first two phases of the capital plan so far, $900,000 of which will be used for the West Kootenay centre.

The BC SPCA, a not-for-profit organization, served nearly 43,000 abused, neglected, abandoned and injured animals last year, including 1,164 from the West Kootenay region.

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