(Crystal A. Proxmire, 2/6/2011)
Weeks of planning and hard work have paid off big time for two fourth graders from the Academy of Sacred Heart in Birmingham who started their own charity as a way to help animals in need. Nine year old Regan Malinzak of Bloomfield Hills and ten year old Emma Sznewajs of Birmingham started K9 Club Cares at the beginning of the year as a way to get involved and help out multiple animal-related charities like the Humane Society and Michigan Animal Rescue League. After a sale at their school in January, they made their first big public appearance at the Ferndale Blues Festival’s Annual Rib Burn-Off event on Feb. 5, in the big heated tent behind Dino’s Lounge.
The Rib Burn Off itself is a grand Ferndale tradition, raising money for two local charities, Michigan AIDS Coalition and Ferndale Youth Assistance. Teams competed to see who could make the tastiest ribs (to see the winners go to – https://oaklandcounty115.com/2011/02/06/rib-burn-off-results/), and crowds of people enjoyed live blues music.
The girls were also invited by organizer Dean Bach to set up a table and sell dog toys that they had made to raise money for K9 Club Cares. There were multi-colored chew toys made of fleece, and ceramic dogs tags available. Over 100 items were sold during the four-hour event. They expected sales to be $200, but a generous anonymous donor made their till double by the end of the day.
“We both really love animals,” Malinzak said.
“I hate seeing them look so sad on the TV commercials,” added Sznewajs. “If we can raise money it can help the Human Society and other charities that can help them find homes.”
At around 4:00pm the winners of the Rib Burn Off were announced, and the young ladies were excited to be called up on stage and introduced by Bach, who invited everyone in the audience to check out their cool dog toys. “It’s been really really fun,” Malinzak said. “I didn’t think we’d sell this many!”
Next week K9 Club Cares is planning a visit to the Michigan Animal Rescue League to give them a donation and learn more about what that organization does to help homeless animals.
To read more stories about our warm and fuzzy four-legged friends, check out our Pets & Animals Section. For more Blues Festival coverage, check out Music & Entertainment. To learn more about K9 Club Cares, see their website at www.k9clubcares.org.