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Archers ‘pay it forward’

Avaini Singireddy, a student at Mill Creek Elementary School, cuddles a puppy from Madison Small Pups Adoption and Rescue. Singireddy ranked in second place among girls at the Maverick Shootout Archery Tournament. CONTRIBUTED
Avaini Singireddy, a student at Mill Creek Elementary School, cuddles a puppy from Madison Small Pups Adoption and Rescue. Singireddy ranked in second place among girls at the Maverick Shootout Archery Tournament. CONTRIBUTED

MADISON – Along with targeting the bull’s eye, students took aim to help soldiers and puppies during the first annual Maverick Shootout Archery Tournament.

Mill Creek Elementary School hosted the tournament in January with archers from Heritage, Mill Creek, Columbia, and Rainbow elementary schools.

The contestants completed a service project for active military personnel and for Madison Small Pups Adoption and Rescue.

As they waited for their turn to shoot, the archers made 97 greeting cards and wrote letters to military members stationed throughout the United States and deployed to Europe and other undisclosed locations.

For the dog rescue group, contestants collected numerous boxes of dog food, blankets, collars, dog toys and other items. A small group of dedicated volunteers coordinates the efforts of Madison Small Pups Adoption and Rescue. The group constantly needs donations for pet supplies and cash, along with families to foster animals and individuals to adopt the small dogs.

Mill Creek fifth-grader Alex Lorch, who won second place in the tournament, said he “liked writing letters to soldiers to help encourage them for fighting for our country and keeping us safe.”

Also in fifth grade at Mill Creek, Lindsey Tucker believes “it’s important we collected items for the dogs. If people didn’t donate stuff, the dogs would have sad lives. We helped make the dogs happier.”

Mil Creek sixth-grader Callie Scroggins said, “So many puppies need tender loving care. I’m so glad I got to help them because they are so cute and loveable.”

As a surprise thank-you to the archers, Sandra McCully, founder of Madison Small Pups, brought some puppies to a practice.

“I would like to thank the Mill Creek Archery Team and Coach Jennifer Klein for such a generous donation to help with the care of our homeless dogs. These gifts will go directly to helping these animals get ready for a loving home,” McCully said.

“The kids did a wonderful job with the service projects,” Klein said. “I’m very proud of their hard work.”

For more information about Madison Small Pups Adoption and Rescue, visit madisonsmallpups.org.

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