Middle school students, staff show support for Elmore SPCA

CHAMPLAIN - People across the North Country are joining together to help the financially-struggling Elmore SPCA animal shelter in Peru, and the faculty, staff and students at Northeastern Clinton Central School District are no exception.

The NCCS Middle School has been holding fundraisers since the end of April in an effort to help the shelter raise critical funding to keep its doors open past the month of June.

Guidance counselor Kelly A. Miller has been overseeing the efforts, but credited a student for bringing the importance of the issue to the school's attention.

"It was one of our students, Rachel Soluri, an eight-grader, who approached our principal, Tom Brandell, asking what we could do to help the shelter," said Miller. "She read about how the shelter needed $30,000 by June and wanted the school's support to raise money. Of course, we jumped right on board."

"I wanted to help, so I talked to my mom and my mom helped me get in touch with the principal and the guidance office and we figured out a way to make it all work," Soluri explained.

The timing of the request was just weeks before Mother's Day, so the decision was made to raffle baskets to be given as Mother's Day gifts, said Miller. Tickets were sold for three baskets, which each consisted of different themes, and were won by seventh-graders Alexandra Lamberton and Curtis Bosley and sixth-grader Courtney Lamberton.

In addition to the basket raffle, students are wrapping up a pet food and supply drive, collecting necessary items the shelter has stated of which it has been in need.

The generosity of those within the school district who have supported both efforts to help the shelter has been overwhelming, said Soluri, adding she was surprised a simple request from one person could go so far.

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