homepage logo


By Staff | Jul 14, 2015

The Junior Ambassadors of the Animal Refuge Center are showing everyone that kids can be responsible pet owner, too.

On Saturday, July 18, this group of young people will host its first-ever major event; a bowl-a-thon at Pin Street Bowling Center in Fort Myers, with ARC raising money two ways – from entry fees and pledges from sponsors.

Tracey Hendershott, president of ARC, said participation looks strong, with between 25 and 30 youths signed up so far and more expected.

“We have quite a few kids lined up to participate and they’re out now doing their pledges and sponsorships,” Hendershott said. “The Junior Ambassadors are recruiting their friends to participate.”

The event will be from 10 a.m. to noon, and is open to youths between the ages of 5 and 15.

For a $10 entry fee, participants will get three games of bowling, shoe rental and lunch. Bowlers will also collect pledges from their supporters for every pin they knock down in support of ARC and its 450 animals.

ARC has done bowl-a-thons in the past, but with adults. Hendershott said the Junior Ambassadors wanted to put on their own event during the summer that they could promote.

The Junior Ambassadors are a group of volunteers between the ages of 10 and 15 who attend monthly meetings, promote ARC at events, raise awareness of responsible pet ownership and spend time socializing with the cats and dogs at the shelter.

The Junior Ambassadors was formed three years ago to give youths who are too young to volunteer on their own, but can come in and learn about the animals and how to care for them. Hendershott said.

“Hopefully, we can spread the word to their friends. The big thing about ARC is educating the community on responsible pet ownership,” Hendershott said. “If we start early with these kids, it will set them up for life regarding pets and how to take care of them.”

Lexi James, 12, and a Junior Ambassador, said she got involved through her school’s honor society, which recommended ARC to her.

“I like how they raise money to help homeless animals. I’m asking all my friends and family to help,” James said. “I feel good knowing that animals are not on the streets where they can get hurt.”

If you would like more information on this group or would like to join, email Vcarc@Animalrefugecenter.net.

For additional information about the event, please call 470-4637 or email Tracey@Animalrefugecenter.com.

Incorporated in 1988, the Animal Refuge Center is the largest no-kill Shelter in Southwest Florida, situated on 22 acres in North Fort Myers.

For more information about the center, visit its website at www.Animalrefuge-center.com.

Pin Street Bowling Center is at 4140 Fowler St., in Fort Myers.