When Tori Smith’s drumming circle teacher, Karen Jesseph, asked the group if they had any suggestions for performance venues, her thoughts immediately went to an upcoming benefit for Allen County Animal Rescue Facility.
Smith is the daughter of Michelle Diebolt. Her granddad, Don Diebolt, has done much of the construction work on the new shelter. And Art Chapman, who works at the LaHarpe lumber yard, is head of the nonprofit board.
“I’m really excited about the animal shelter,” Smith said. “I’m thinking about it all the time.”
Her mom agreed.
“She’s really taken an initiative in it,” Diebolt said. “She’s the go-to person at Lincoln Elementary” for all things ACARF, Diebolt added.
The fifth grader said she plans to volunteer at the shelter once it opens.
“I’ll clean cages and put out food and interact with the animals,” Smith said.
She already does some of that with her various pets. Smith has a cat and two dogs at her mom’s home in LaHarpe, and a cat and a number of ducks at her dad’s in Iola, she said.
Smith’s concern for stray animals came from her family, Diebolt noted.
“My brother (Mike Diebolt) was big into it,” she said. When Mike Diebolt was killed six years ago in a plane crash, Smith inherited his love of animals, she said.
ONA CHAPMAN, head of the student ACARF group at Iola Middle School, credits Smith with involving the drumming circle in the April 9 fund raiser.
The group, plus the IMS Bucket Brigade, will perform at the pulled pork dinner at the LaHarpe VFW post.
The event is an effort to raise funds to purchase needed cages for the shelter. Large dog cages (which have separate areas to house two dogs) run $4,000. Josh Oberley of Modern Woodmen will match funds raised up to $2,500 to help purchase cages, Chapman said.
Proceeds form the dinner itself will go toward the shelter’s spay and neuter fund, so that animals can receive those necessary surgeries before they are adopted out.
In addition, a raffle of handmade quilts and a microwave will be conducted at the dinner.
Dinner tickets cost $5 and include a pulled pork sandwich, hot dog or chili dog, two sides and iced tea. Raffle tickets are extra.
Tickets are available at Jump Start Travel Center, Classy Attic, Diebolt Lumber, or from Chapman at the middle school. They may also be purchased at the door the night of the event.
The dinner runs from 5 to 8 p.m.; the drumming circle performs from 5:30 to 6:30.
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