Pool Party with a Purpose, furry friends in mind

Pool Party with a Purpose, furry friends in mind
Birthday girls Ellie Rose Smith and Anna Conners (front) are surrounded by their friends with some of the charitable donations.

Two like-minded animal enthusiasts and close friends, Anna Conners and Ellie Rose Smith, recently gathered their friends for a birthday party to celebrate their 11th birthdays. The only caveat on the invitation was to bring dog food, cat food, leashes, whatever monetary donations they could muster, and toys for animals in need – not the typical presents most girls might request at such a young age.

One thing that pleasantly surprised their parents was the request to turn the party into an opportunity to give to animals in need. “They both love animals, they both have dogs, and they have a sweet spot for dogs,” said Sarah Conners, Anna’s mother, when asked about the motivations of the young ladies. “They came to us with the idea,” said Haydee Smith, Ellie’s mother.

The girls and their friends made two donations. The monetary donation was made to the Jacksonville Humane Society, and several pounds of cat and dog foods, along with other gifts for animals in the community, were delivered the next day to the city’s Animal Care and Protective Services facility on Forest Street. The joint birthday party was attended by a group of classmates from Riverside Presbyterian Day School and was held poolside at the Timuquana Country Club, August 9.

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