Animal Lover’s Club big hit at Perry Fall Festival
Story and photos by Carolyn Kaberline
The Animal Lovers Club began when Perry-Lecompton Middle School fifth-grader Sarah Ward had some friends over to her house a couple of weeks ago.
“We were talking about my cat and dog, who were adopted,” Sarah said. “Since we all liked them, we first were going to start a dog and cat lovers club, but then we decided to open it up to all animals and call it the Animal Lovers Club.”
When Sarah’s mother Lynn Ward told them about Saturday’s Perry Fall Festival, club members decided to set up a booth and sell dog treats, cat toys, and some of their own toys to raise money for the Jefferson County Humane Society. And raise money they did: By the end of the day club members had earned more than $100 for their efforts.
Although their booth kept them from taking part in a lot of the festival’s activities, Sarah said she really didn’t mind. “I liked knowing that some dogs would be really happy getting dog treats and that we were making money for the Jefferson County Humane Society.”
While they plan to give the money they raised Saturday to the humane society as part of the next Animal Lovers meeting, they also hope to raise money for the Topeka and Lawrence shelters in the future.
“The club has really taught them how to plan and organize as well as how to work together,” Lynn said, adding that these were all qualities they could use in the future.
In addition to the Animal Lovers tent, numerous area vendors were also present at the festival with goods ranging from candles to blankets to Halloween goods to jewelry and food items. Church and service groups also had booths, while the American Legion was the site for a breakfast and lunch.
Both festival director Adrianne Meyers and vendor coordinator Pat Putnam thought the event went well, but noted that the crowd seemed a bit smaller this year. However, Meyers noted that there were more vendors on site and that the inflatables saw plenty of use.
A patriotic theme was visible during many of the day’s events, especially during the bike parade. The 5K run also saw plenty of competition with Josh Skelton winning the men’s division and Lisa Mitchell winning the women’s.
Meyer said there would be a follow-up meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, at the American Legion building in Perry and issued an invitation to anyone who had suggestions for next year’s festival.
“We’re always looking for ideas and suggestions,” Meyers said.
Sponsors for this year’s festival were AG Insurance of Jefferson County; American Legion Post 142; American Legion Riders; Barnett Funeral Home of Oskaloosa; Casey’s General Stores; city of Perry; the Final Drive Band; First State Bank and Trust of Perry; Golden Pizza of Perry, Oskaloosa, and Meriden; Hurd Excavating of Perry; J.A.G. Graphics of Lecompton; Jefferson County Insurance; Jefferson County Area Chamber of Commerce; N.R. Hamm Quarry, Inc.; Perry Bar and Grill; Perry Carpet Shack; Perry Christian Church; Perry-Lecompton Community Library; Perry-Lecompton Farmers Market; USD 343; Perry Milling; Perry Pride; SM Ball Waste Disposal, Perry; Sons of the American Legion; Standard Tire and Automotive; Thrall’s Liquor Store in Perry; Perry Thriftway and Worthington’s Hardware and Auto Part of Perry.
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