Kate Bray, a fourth-grader at Folger McKinsey Elementary School took her love of animals outside of her home and into the school by starting an SPCA Club. Although informal and not officially sanctioned by the school, the club has been a driving force on helping the local SPCA in Annapolis.
Currently, the club is seeking pledges and raising funds for the upcoming 20th Annual Walk for Dogs event from 8 a.m. to noon on Sunday at Quiet Waters Park where the club will be selling their popular dog toys at the Doggone Walk Festival, featuring vendors and animal organizations. Visit the website for pledge information.
Earlier this year, Kate reached out to the SPCA and asked how she could help. Due to age restrictions, the SPCA staff suggested she start by collecting items that the shelter is often in need of like pet food, dog and cat beds, towels, pet carriers and toys.
Kate brought that suggestion to her fellow club members Rachel Spilker, Lauren Kemmer, and Kara Matthews who then made posters and decorated donation boxes that were placed at Bayside Animal Medical Center in Severna Park, where Kate’s mother, Dr. Alexandra Bray, is a veterinarian.
Meanwhile they enlisted the help of Folger's longtime guidance counselor Beth Edelstein to get a donation drive going at the school. Working with the school's human relations committee, morning mentions of the donation drive were announced to classrooms over the PA along with posters placed throughout the school. Soon the boxes were brimming with donations of food, blankets, towels and treats, said Edelstein.
"Kate is such a sweet kind and caring person, she has a love for animals and it looks as though she's following in her mother's footsteps," said Edelstein, adding that Kate was a nominee for the prestigious Carson Scholarship and wrote about becoming a veterinarian.
The Folger McKinsey students and Bayside Animal Medical Center clients responded so generously that two car loads of donations were collected. The boxes were being stored in the Bray's garage, which quickly filled up and soon ran out of space, said Kate's father Jim Bray in an e-mail to Patch.
The donations were delivered to the SPCA in Annapolis where Kate and her friends were given a tour of the facility that houses over 400 animals waiting to be adopted.
"We greatly appreciate Kate's tremenodous support of our shelter and look forward to working with her in the years to come, " said Sue Beatty, executive director of the SPCA. "She's one of those wonderful people we depend on greatly, and we are so excited about all of her help."
Asked about the successful donation drive, Kate said: “I liked how the people were thinking about the homeless animals at the SPCA and donating plenty of items to support them.”
To see highlights from the Folger McKinsey SPCA Club visit and previous SPCA walks, visit baysideanimal.com.
*Editor's Note: This article has been updated to reflect that Kate is in fourth grade.