By Danielle Smith
Leader Staff Writer
A group of Oxford High School DECA students have partnered with the Oxford K-9 Stray Rescue League to host a community-wide event bringing humans and K-9s together for a memorable afternoon.
OHS seniors Ali Desrochers and Tommy Smalley, and junior Trent Brown along with Oxford K-9 Stray Rescue League, are
hosting an adoption/dog-walking event on Sunday, Oct. 20 at Seymour Lake Park from 11 to 3 p.m. Everyone is welcome to come and interact with the four-legged guests while enjoying food, inflatables, a cutest dog contest, activities and vendors. Proceeds from the event will go toward renovations for the rescue.
Desrochers, Smalley and Brown were assigned at the beginning of the school year to work together for their DECA class. One of the class requirements was to create an event, benefiting the community.
“Part of our project this year is to put on an event to give back to our community, so we chose to work with the Oxford K-9 Stray Rescue,” Desrochers said. “We are going to be putting on an event to raise money to hopefully go in and make renovations to the shelter because the shelter is pretty run down and doesn’t have enough space for the dogs and the animals there…we are hoping to put this event on and get as many people involved to come and donate and participate in activities, to walk the dogs and interact with the dogs.”
The group came up with the idea to partner with the rescue because Brown is an active volunteer there. When Desrochers and Smalley joined him there one day, all three agreed that the rescue was what they wanted the focal point of their DECA project to be.
“(We thought) it would be a great idea for us to come together as a group and to help Trent and the shelter with any troubles they’re facing,” Desrochers said.
Once the group decided that this was the project for them, they had to get to work to see how they could execute this event in a short amount of time while incorporating the dogs into the mix.
“When people come to the shelter to adopt a dog, usually, they walk the dogs and play with them, so we thought that if people have that interaction with them, that will give them more of a connection with the dogs so that more people can be able to feel comfortable with them and want to be able to adopt them and help the shelter out,” Desrochers said.
After the event, Desrochers, Smalley and Brown will be setting aside a few days to work with the rescue and Walls-N-All Painting to renovate what they can with the funds that were raised. “Along with that, we have to write a 20-page paper for the class about the event we put on, what we did to help them, how we helped them and then we also have to give a presentation when we go to compete (in March),” Desrochers said.
DECA is an international organization that helps develop students into leaders and entrepreneurs through competitions and other various activities. This particular adoption/dog-walking event will be a key component to these students’ DECA presentation this year.