By Elizabeth Gwilt
With up to 15 dogs a week being put down due to the recession, Garrett McDermott knew help was needed.
The Gaither High freshman’s organization Pennies for Puppies Cash for Kittens is hosting a party to raise money for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. The event is at the Carrollwood Applebee’s, which is donating 10 percent of the cost of appetizers purchased on April 30.
“My mom and I went to several businesses and asked them to help us out, and our sponsors include Sweetbay, LA Hangout, J.C.’s, and Honey’s,” McDermott said. He is expecting a turnout of between 30-50 people for Saturday.
McDermott also adds that anyone who isn’t able to stop by for the party can drop off food, toys or money with their pet’s name on the bag.
McDermott said that he had a lot of motivation while planning this event.
“I’ve been an animal lover all my life, and some of my friends have had to put their pets down. I think this is a cause a lot of people are willing to support, especially anyone who has been to the Humane Society and seen all those little eyes looking up at you,” McDermott said.
According to his mother, Joan, Garrett has always been compassionate.
“Since he was 3, every other year for his birthday we donate all his gifts to the charity of his choice,” McDermott said. “I think the Humane Society was a great choice, I know they hand out food every day and that a lot of people can’t afford to keep their pets because of the recession.”
“I think it’s an admirable thing that he’s doing, since as many kids get older, they would like to keep their birthday money,” McDermott said.
As for Garrett, he credits his parents for his willingness to give.
“Ever since I was young, they taught me to pay it forward. I will absolutely continue donating as I get older, because it is so important to support organizations like the Humane Society,” he said.
The Pennies for Puppies Cash for Kittens party will start at 2:15.