Junior ACARF gives, gets a boost

Register Reporter

Register/Richard Luken
The Allen County Animal Rescue Facility received $2,600 through a number of Iola Middle School fund raisers, matched by a donation by Iolans Ray and Wanda Shannon. Shown here are, Ramond Brandstetter, kneeling; front row from left, Scout Henry, Austin Roloff-Tremain, Wyatt Logan, Annette Rexwinkle, Wanda Shannon, Ray Shannon, Art Chapman, Ona Chapman, Andrew Waldman, Shane Sams, Brock Peters, Essence Owens, Dalia Stoll, Kianna Green-Jacobs, Madison Luken, Dallas Yocham, Shae Beasley and Tori Riley; and back row from left, Billie Collins, Daniel Michael, Justin Baker, Libby Shay, Alex Gumfory, Darci Collins and Austin Crowell.

A group of Iola Middle School students was given a double dose of good news recently.
The 18 middle-schoolers who signed up as “Junior ACARF” members — supporting Allen County Animal Rescue Facility — were on hand last week as $2,600 was contributed in support of a new animal shelter being built in LaHarpe.
The money was raised primarily through the sale of sugar-free lollipops during the school year. The total, $1,300, was matched by Iolans Ray and Wanda Shannon.
The other good news came after the students learned that a stray puppy found wandering near the middle school had found a permanent home.
“The kids were pretty upset after they learned the puppy had been picked up by animal control,” said Ona Chapman, a teacher at IMS and Junior ACARF adviser.
The animal was just days away from being euthanized when the Shannons stepped forward and claimed the puppy on behalf of ACARF, until a permanent home could be found. The animal was adopted earlier this week, Chapman said.
“ACARF decided to step forward because that’s what we want to do — save animals,” Chapman said. “The kids were relieved.”
The Junior ACARF group came about after Chapman and a number of students developed a community service project last. Their aim was to sell “Vegas chow” — a snack food consisting of cereal, powdered sugar and chocolate — to purchase supplies for Vegas, the middle school’s therapy dog.
The fund raiser was a modest success, bringing in $45.
Chapman knew of ACARF’s desire to draw in younger supporters and Junior ACARF took shape.
“The perfect idea popped into my head for getting everyone at IMS involved — lollipops,” she said.
The students wanted a healthy project; a quick Internet search found a supplier of sugar-free lollipops loaded with vitamin C.
Sales began last fall.
Chapman admitted some anxiety accompanied her initial order of 560 lollipops.
“Would they sell, or would I be coming up with the money to pay the bill out of my pocket?” she wondered.
Her question was answered within a week, when all 560 lollipops sold out. Others were purchased and sent in care packages to soldiers serving overseas.
Thus began what Chapman described as “The Year of the Lollipop” at IMS, as other orders quickly were depleted.
Three local businesses, Jump Start Travel Center, Diebolt Lumber and Supply and The Main Spot, also sold the lollipops.
Other fund raisers followed.
The IMS Spirit Squad sold bracelets, bringing in another $100.
Enough funds were raised for Junior ACARF to purchase a $100 brick to honor Vegas as well. The bricks are being sold by ACARF to raise funds to help with construction of the animal care facility.

ART CHAPMAN, Ona’s husband and president of the ACARF Board of Directors, said the foundation for the new shelter in LaHarpe has been poured.
“The weather has slowed us down a lot,” he said.
He hopes to have the plumbing infrastructure in place this month, which is necessary in order to build the walls.
Meanwhile, ACARF continues to seek funds to finish the building’s construction.
The group will have enough money for the building’s shell, but they need another $100,000 or so to equip and operate the facility.
“We really want to get it done by the fall,” Art Chapman said.
Donations to ACARF can be sent to P.O. Box 16, Iola, KS 66749.