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St. Paul youth donate $813 to Animal Ark in Hastings

Animal Ark in Hastings received a hefty donation thanks to the efforts of a handful of St. Paul students. Pictured, from left, are Sarah O’Connor, Adamari Vargas, Mari Gainer, Animal Ark’s executive director Steve Bell, Norah Barrett and Zoe Lennon. (Star Gazette photo by Katrina Styx)

Most people don’t even think of giving back until a later age, but 11-year-old Zoe Lennon made a very special donation to the Hastings Animal Ark.

Lennon, who attends the Holy Spirit Catholic School in St. Paul, started her very own club: Claws and Paws.

Claws and Paws was formed with a mission to raise money for animal shelters in need of funding, and according to Lennon’s mom, Barbara, Lennon was “impressed with everything” that Animal Ark did. Lennon decided Animal Ark was the place to donate to.

Lennon raised a total of $813 through a variety of ways, including saving her own money and selling bracelets and sashes.

But a majority of the funds came from Lennon’s idea to run an out-of-uniform day at school, where kids had to donate in order to wear casual clothes. Lennon raised $675 from that alone.

With 13 kids now in the club, Lennon was able to donate to not only her shelter of choice, but to a cause that is near and dear to her heart.

Katrina Styx contributed to this report.

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