- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
The Northern High School Future Business Leaders of America organization has taken animals, and businesses that support them, into their hearts this holiday season.
The FBLA is holding two animal-related events during the weekend of Dec. 15. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15, the organization is hosting an animal adoption event at the Tri-County Animal Shelter in Hughesville. From 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, the FBLA is hosting a promotional event with pictures with Santa Claus at Lucky Duck Pet Stuff in Chesapeake Beach.
Both events, which will include refreshments, are titled “Dear Santa, Don’t Forget Me.”
FBLA secretary and event coordinator Jennifer Linkins, 17, said the events fulfill the club’s annual business partnership project. The high school senior said she had always been interested in supporting animal-related organizations.
“People always think of other people first when they want to help someone and [animals are] often forgotten,” Linkins said. “ ... This year, we’re almost doing two partnerships in one.”
Northern FBLA President Will Knowles, 17, said the goal of the Tri-County Animal Shelter event is to promote and encourage adoption in the community while the goal of the Lucky Duck event is to boost sales.
Linkins said they also picked the two organizations to contrast a for-profit business with a nonprofit business.
“Both of them were really receptive to it,” she said.
Northern FBLA Advisor Nancy Cohen said the club sent 10,000 fliers to local schools to go home with every student. Cohen said they were also placing about 25 signs around the county to advertise.
Cohen said both businesses need all the help they can get. She said Lucky Duck was experiencing “a lot of competition with a Petco and a PetSmart in the county.”
She said Tri-County Animal Shelter often had to euthanize animals for space reasons, making animal adoption crucial.
“If they go to a shelter, they’re saving a life. And be a responsible pet owner. Don’t on a whim think ‘I want a puppy’ and not realize what comes with it,” Cohen said.
Lucky Duck owner Carla Wynn said her business, which is approaching its sixth year, has always been “touch and go.”
When the students contacted her, Wynn called it “a blessing.”
“I couldn’t have asked for anything more. They’re so full of energy and doing things. Them promoting me is a God-send,” Wynn said.
She said she was letting the students take the lead in the planning of the Dec. 16 event and said they were doing promotions like having a shelf where nothing costs more than $5. Wynn said the students would also be decorating the store for the holidays.
“They’ve been doing awesome work,” Wynn said.
Tri-County Animal Shelter Supervisor Kim Stephens said she expected dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters and gerbils to all be available at the pet adoption event.
Stephens said she found working with the students to be “kind of exhilarating because they bring so much enthusiasm.”
“They’re definitely not afraid to speak up,” Stephens said.
She said she was hoping for a high turnout at the adoption event.
“It really takes a community to reduce the number of animals we have in the shelter,” Stephens said.