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6-year-old twins nix birthday gifts to help MARF

Addison and Owen Chalmers admire about 500 pounds of pet food, which they collected for Madison Animal Rescue Foundation, instead of receiving birthday gifts. (CONTRIBUTED)
Addison and Owen Chalmers admire about 500 pounds of pet food, which they collected for Madison Animal Rescue Foundation, instead of receiving birthday gifts. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – For the sixth birthday party, Addison and Owen Chalmers decided to forego birthday presents and instead collected food and supplies for Madison Animal Rescue Foundation (MARF).

Students at Rainbow Elementary School, Addison and Owen welcomed 46 children from both kindergarten classes, along with neighborhood friends. Owen’s kindergarten teacher Jennifer Burgreen dressed as Princess Leia from “Star Wars.”

For their party at Onyx Gym in Athens, the guests enjoyed a LEGO “Star Wars” cake for Owen and a “My Little Pony” cake for Addison. “We made light sabers out of pool noodles for kids to use and take home. The kids had a battle with each other and the adults,” twins’ mother Michele Chalmers said. Their father is Jon Chalmers.

Their party favors were rainbow candy bags with Skittles, M&Ms and marshmallows.

Luckily, the twins did receive gifts from their parents and relatives. “We’ve encouraged the twins to give back to the community. A few of their friends and neighbors recently started the trend of giving to a charity, instead of getting presents,” Michele said.

Other children have collected donations for Boys & Girls Club, Mannah House, Christmas Charities Year-Round and supplies for an animal shelter.

Addison and Owen knew about MARF from visiting Petsmart when buying supplies for the family’s 10-year-old black Labrador, Buddy, and chocolate Labrador, Maddy.

The twins collected almost 500 pounds of pet food. “We had two 55-pound bags of dog food and several 10- and 20-pound bags of cat and dog food, mostly Purina One Smartblend, Iams Puppy Chow and canned dog and cat food, Milk Bone Dog Biscuits, Beggin’ Strips, Dentist Best chews and pet chew toys,” Michele said.

“Addison and Owen were both very excited about all the pet supplies they received from friends and family. They both said they are glad they can help animals who don’t have a home or a mommy or daddy to take care of them,” Michele said.

“They said it feels great to help others,” Michele said.

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