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Frederick Manor youths collect cans for Humane Society

August 15, 2009

A challenge that brought out youngsters' competitive spirits resulted in a sizeable donation to the Humane Society of Washington County.

The Frederick Manor Unit Boys & Girls Club collected aluminum cans for seven weeks to donate to the shelter. Their collection totaled 5,939 cans, which staff members presented to the shelter Aug 4, along with a picture and poster signed by the children.

"We wanted to give back to the community," said Regina Stoner, a staff member who along with Frederick Manor Unit Director Preston Carey, conceived and organized the event.

"They do so much for us and we wanted to return the favor. So we've been volunteering and helping out other organizations and all the kids wanted to help the Humane Society so we decided to collect cans for them," she said.

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The event was attempted before with little success. So Regina tried a different tactic. "I made it into a competition. The group with the most cans collected would get a prize," she said. There are 50 children ages 5 to 12 in the club who were broken into groups based on their ages. Kids then collected cans by asking parents and neighbors. All the groups were listed on a chart with their ongoing tally for motivation.

The new angle worked and the winning group was the Spartans, ages 11 to 12. The group included Alexis Barklow, Jenna Massie, Celensia Dickson, Sabrina McElroy, Mariya Garner, Allen Gaines, Hunter West, Jonathon Alger, Malik Carey, Preston Carry, Isaiah Green, Diamond Hamilton and Jordan Luna.

Stoner was their group leader and couldn't have been more proud.

"They really got into it. I was so happy for them," she said. "But since we were so successful, I decided to reward everyone."

All of the children were treated to ice cream and the winning team will also be taken to see a movie and out to eat. The kids were delighted with their success and posed with the collected cans.

"I also want to recognize the 5 and 6 year olds, their group came in third," she said.

Stoner said she hopes to make this a year-round event.

Paul Miller, the shelter's executive director, was impressed by the kids' efforts.

"They really gave this project their all and were very successful. We couldn't be happier that they decided to take up a can collection for us. It's a fun way for kids to help animals and I think they really enjoy and learn from the experience," he said.

The Humane Society is at 13011 Maugansville Road in Hagerstown. Call 301-733-2060 or go to www.hswcmd.org for information about animal-related issues, directions to the shelter and information about programs and services.

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