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Ten-year-old Sawyer McDonald raises enough money to pay for 50 kitten vaccinations

JASON CHANEY - Sawyer McDonald (center) poses for a photo with HSO Director Heather O'Daniel (left) and Shelter Manager Amanda Drake.

Thanks to the hard work and generosity of 10-year-old Sawyer McDonald, more than four-dozen kittens will receive vaccinations from Humane Society of the Ochocos.

McDonald took it upon herself to hold a bake sale on Thanksgiving weekend in downtown Prineville while her mom manned a vendor table, and raised $56 in five hours.

"I was selling ginger crinkles, which are molasses cookies, fudge with chopped candy canes, and Rice Krispie treats with Christmas sprinkles," she recalls. "It went really good. We had a bunch of customers."

The opportunity arose when her mother, Mandi, who works from home for H20, was planning to participate in the local Holiday Crawl at Room 1868. A bunch of local vendors were planning to get together and sell their goods, and she wondered if her daughter wanted to join the fun.

"She asked me if I wanted to do a bake sale on the other side (of the room). I said sure, I will do it for the Humane Society," Sawyer said. "My brother and I just made a bunch of signs, and we decided what we wanted to make."

Sawyer said her desire to raise money for the Humane Society was spurred by a growing history with the local shelter. She has not only been a customer of the facility — adopting a cat named Mr. Meow Meow and a dog named Loci — but spends time at the shelter with animals who are waiting for a new home.

"We have always volunteered or walked the dogs or played with the kittens," Sawyer explained. "My friends and I have made dog treats for the dogs and little pompoms for the cats to play with."

Humane Society Director Heather O'Daniel was quite impressed with the thoughtfulness and generosity Sawyer displayed, making sure the 10-year-old girl knew her efforts paid for 50 kitten vaccinations.

O'Daniel said the shelter benefits from a lot of great volunteers, but she singled out the McDonald family as one she can always turn to with Humane Society needs.

"Her mom helps me a lot through our golf tournament (fundraiser)," she said. "They help at outside events. They are just always someone who has a passion for the shelter and are always trying to find ways to help us."

But even with that history, the shelter director did not expect 10-year-old Sawyer to spearhead her own fundraising effort.

"This was a special surprise," O'Daniel said, recalling when she walked into Room 1868 that Saturday and saw the bake sale signs. "It was so awesome to see. Sawyer is a very giving girl and has a big, huge heart, and this shows it."

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