Lit­tle girl, mas­sive heart

The Free Press (Corowa) - - FRONT PAGE - BY JAR­RYD BARCA

We’ve heard about the sto­ries of farm­ers strug­gling with their live­stock and the lack of rain hin­der­ing crop growth, and given the fi­nan­cial im­pli­ca­tions of these mat­ters, what is be­ing done to help their work­ing dogs?

With the theme of ‘feed the farm dogs’, lo­cal Corowa girl Ell-Rose Clinch has been on a re­cent mis­sion to en­sure every man’s best friend gets treated while their own­ers are in a tense strug­gle.

The 11-year-old has been col­lect­ing sev­eral cans of dog food and has urged lo­cals to do the same, with sev­eral lo­cal businesses jump­ing on board and of­fer­ing drop-off points for those wish­ing to do­nate.

“On the news they talk about the farm­ers’ sheep, horses and cows … I said to grandma and pa ‘what about the dogs?’” Elly-Rose told The Free Press.

Elly-Rose’s grand­mother Vicky Clinch added: “It’s re­ally great and some­thing we’re very proud of. It’s not just cans of dog food that the farm­ers will ap­pre­ci­ate as we’re writ­ing names of peo­ple who do­nated on the cans be­cause it shows peo­ple who care.”

The Year 4 stu­dent sat out the back of Corowa Supa IGA for two hours on Satur­day, Septem­ber 8 urg­ing lo­cals to add a can of dog food to their shop­ping list, with many giv­ing her a well-earned pat on the back.

Pets Do­main, who Vicky said have been “fan­tas­tic to us”, have made sig­nif­i­cant con­tri­bu­tions by adding dry food to the col­lec­tion of do­nated items, as well as St Mary’s.

Many other or­gan­i­sa­tions such as the Corowa RSL and Corowa Golf Club have also come on board with do­na­tions, while IGA put to­gether a dis­play on Mon­day to en­cour­age lo­cals to con­tinue to buy a can of dog food.

The aim is for the col­lec­tion of dog food to be driven up to Drought An­gels in Queens­land. One lovely gen­tle­man, Ian Avage, agreed to the task last week and ap­plauded Ell-Rose’s ef­forts by agree­ing to match what gets do­nated one-for-one.

Cur­rently nearly 300 cans will be do­nated,

A St Mary’s Pri­mary School stu­dent has taken mat­ters into her own hands by try­ing to as­sist with the cur­rent drought cri­sis.

and Vicky said there is still two more weeks for peo­ple to lend a hand.

“The two ex­tra weeks gives us a chance to do­nate more,” she said. “Peo­ple have been re­ally good, the com­mu­nity help here is great. We’ve heard sto­ries of farm­ers up north need­ing to sur­ren­der their dogs be­cause they can’t feed them which is re­ally sad.

“I’ve also got a grand­son in Victoria, Ri­ley, who is do­ing the same thing, rais­ing dog food for Elly-Rose.

“Hope­fully this all catches on and peo­ple will start to do the same.”

A lot of Corowa re­tail­ers have also been will­ing to con­trib­ute to the cause. Vicky and Elly-Rose spent all of Satur­day walk­ing along the street to re­tail stores putting for­ward their case, gen­er­ously man­ag­ing to col­lect an­other 50 cans.

Vicky said she has been over­whelmed by the amount of com­mu­nity sup­port.

“The cart got so heavy one of the wheels fell off! It was burn­ing rub­ber in the end.” she said.

The ef­forts made by Elly-Rose, and par­tic­u­larly the abil­ity to think out­side of the box and help the farm­ers in ways no one else thought of, truly make the say­ing ‘not all he­roes wear capes’ an ac­cu­rate one.

Any­one wish­ing to join in and buy a can of dog food can make their do­na­tions at the Fed­er­a­tion Coun­cil, Corowa Supa IGA or the Corowa Golf Club.

Elly-Rose be­gan her quest out­side of Corowa Supa IGA and started with 24 cans, but has now col­lected hun­dreds.

Elly-Rose sit­ting in front of her mas­sive dog food col­lec­tion, in­clud­ing cans and dry food that was do­nated by Pets Do­main.

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