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St. Pet’s Day to benefit animal rescue groups

3/5/2009 - South Side Leader
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By Maria Lindsay

Local fire departments are serving as collection sites for pet food donations during The Celtic Club’s St. Pet’s Day. Shown from left is Coventry firefighter Charlie Wygle with dogs Paige and Cecil, Celtic Club volunteer and Coventry resident Mary Lou Swartz and Coventry firefighter Mike Bartel with Stoli. Paige, Cecil and Stoli are all rescue dogs.
Photo courtesy of The Celtic Club
SOUTH SUMMIT — Area residents are invited to demonstrate their love for animals by supporting an effort to help local humane societies and animal rescue groups care for the in-creasing number of pets they are housing.

The Celtic Club will host the fifth annual St. Pet’s Day — a series of pet food collection drives in March, to benefit humane society and animal rescue groups in Summit, Stark and Portage counties.

“This is a different take on St. Patrick’s Day,” said Jim Collver, president of The Celtic Club.

Collver explained the event started as a small effort at Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts in Akron and in the Kent area, and has expanded into suburban communities. He also hopes to eventually include Akron area fire stations.

“This is our first year in expanding the donation drive into other communities,” he said. “With the economy being what it is, we knew there was a real need.”

Last year about 6,500 pounds of food was collected for pets, according to Collver.

“This year, we are hoping to do better to help out during these tough times,” he said. “We are accepting dry pet food, cat litter and also canned food.”

Residents of 11 communities, including Barberton, Norton, Coventry, Clinton, New Franklin, Green, Lakemore, Springfield, Uniontown and Hartville, can donate food for cats or dogs March 9-13 and 16-17 at their local fire stations during business hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The pet food will be sent to the area humane societies and animal rescue groups.

Also, The Celtic Club will team up with Arts in Stark’s First Friday event to present a St. Pet’s Day drive March 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Palace Theatre, 605 Market Ave. N. in Canton. The event will offer Irish entertainment with The Mickey’s, Archbishop Hoban High School Pipes and Drums Corp, the O’Hare Irish Dancers, poet Merle Mellenkopf, harpists Dreama Powell and Sue Wheeler, and singer Lisa Spicer. Admission is free with a donation of pet food.

Spicer’s 13-year-old daughter, Emily, also got into the act and collected pet food at her recent birthday party, when she asked friends to bring pet food instead of birthday presents, and is continuing to collect pet food from school mates at Jackson Memorial Middle School. Collver said The Celtic Club plans to present a T-shirt and a certificate of appreciation to Emily and make her an honorary member of the club for her efforts.

Donations for St. Pet’s Day also were collected yesterday, March 5, at the Kent State University (KSU) men’s basketball game and will be collected at the March 7 KSU women’s basketball game at 4 p.m. Admission to the women’s game is $3 with a donation.

If interested in donating, call Collver at (330) 867-0485.

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