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Bake sale to help animals

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- After experiencing the stress involved with having an injured pet, an Albany elementary school student wanted to do something to help other animals in need.

Nicole Swartzentruber, a second-grader at Life Christian Academy, helped coordinate a bake sale taking place on her school's campus -- at 1224 W. Fourth Ave. -- from 7 a.m.-noon today.

The motivation for the sale started two weeks ago when the Swartzentrubers' family cat was found injured, possibly as a result of being hit by a car. While Nicole was at the veterinarian's office to visit her cat one day, a trip she would make every day after school, she came across some animals that where hurt and homeless.

"She was concerned about the animals in cages that were injured (and homeless)," said Tykisha Thompson, Nicole's teacher. "It bothered her so much that she went home and cried about it."

Nicole then felt the need to do something, which is why her mother, friends and fellow church members, along with The Bread Wagon in Thomasville, agreed to bake and donate items for today's sale.

The proceeds raised will go to benefit the Best Friends Humane Society in Worth County.

"The Best Friends Humane Society doesn't euthanize," Thompson said. "They keep the animals until they are adopted."

Nicole, along with LCA, was working to take donations in advance from other elementary school students -- which resulted in a $300 collection. When taking into account the 300 pre-orders that were made, Thompson said Friday that officials were expecting to raise a total of $1,000 from the bake sale effort.

Regardless of how much is raised, those involved in the cause will still have a lot to be proud of.

"I've been teaching for 13 years, and I've never had a student (like Nicole)," Thompson said. "If she sees a piece of paper on the floor, she picks it up while other students walk by it. She really stands out."

The funds raised will go to purchase food, blankets and medication for the animals staying at the shelter.

The Best Friends Humane Society in Worth County is a private, nonprofit organization. Its program is supported entirely by fundraising and the generosity of individuals who are concerned about homeless animals. Incorporated in May 2007, it was the first humane organization in the county.

Nicole is the daughter of Dr. Gary Swartzentruber, a third-year resident with the Southwest Georgia Family Medicine Residency Program based in Albany.