Even before the ‘big check’ was officially presented, the Old Rochester Regional Junior High School main office was purring with praise for the team of eighth graders who participated in a 100-minute long walkathon outside in the rain for a cause with paws.
The Orange Team of 125 students on June 9 welcomed Pam and Oren Robinson, owners and operators of It’s All About the Animals, a no-kill cat shelter on Marion Road in Rochester, to present them with a check for $1,913 so that the couple can continue their mission of saving sick and homeless kitties.
The Robinsons weren’t expecting to be chosen as the community organization benefitting from the Orange Team’s first ever large-scale community project to support a local charity, and they certainly weren’t expecting an amount that almost reached $2,000.
Pam was overwhelmed with emotion when she saw the grand total, and tears of joy dropped from all corners of the room.
When asked how many cats the couple has saved over the ten years the cat shelter has been open, Pam replied, “Thousands. Thousands.”
The students and their Orange Team teachers erupted in applause for the Robinsons.
“I don’t know what to say,” said an emotional Pam. “We appreciate it so much, and I know it was a long day in the rain, but you kept plugging away and we are very honored that you chose us.”
The funds will likely go towards food and medical expenses for the cats. Medical expenses, the Robinsons said, are by far the highest expense at the shelter.
“I never expected anything like this,” said Pam.
All the teachers who led the students were present: Nicole Charbonneau, Carol Fletcher, Rick Regan, Jeff Lombard, Hope Perkins, Margaret Benson, Sarah Enos, Carla Cafarella, Chuck Jancaterino, Kathy Bobrowiecki, and Andrea Shaw.
Fletcher embraced Pam after the big check presentation and said, “We exceeded what we’d hoped for and we’re just so happy.”
“They kids had a great time,” said ORR Website Coordinator Erin Bednarczyk. “Even in the rain. They were soaking wet.” She continued, “It’s amazing what kids can do when they’ve got great leadership.”
“You don’t know how good this makes me feel,” said Fletcher.
It’s All About the Animals is located at 103 Marion Road in Rochester. Visit their website for more information on cat adoption, donations, or volunteering at www.itsallabouttheanimals.org.
By Jean Perry