An artist became one of the most generous young donors to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after she raised more than $2,700 at her gallery.
Skye Backeberg, 11, said that it felt rewarding to know how well the Paint for Paws art exhibition was received.
The Somersfield Academy pupil said: “It feels like I did something really good. I put a lot of effort into it and it worked out well.”
Skye, from Hamilton Parish, said that Paint for Paws was the combination of two of her great passions.
She explained: “I have always loved animals and I’ve always had a very strong passion for art, so I was thinking, ‘How can I combine the two?’
“I did some looking around and I realised that the SPCA is a great organisation and it’s for a really good cause.
“So my mom and I did a ton of art over the weekend and we started publicising it and getting other people to do other pieces and it just evolved.”
Skye said that the exhibition included paintings, sculptures and drawings from both professional and amateur artists, including herself.
She sold about six paintings during the silent auction, including her own painting, The Wave, which went for $300.
Skye said: “It took me about six days and it got me very frustrated sometimes because it didn’t look like it was working, but eventually when we got the foam in it kind of all came together.”
Skye has been an animal enthusiast all her life. Paint for Paws was not the first time she raised money for animals.
She explained: “I was raising money before for rhinos in Africa.
“Then I was thinking, ‘What about doing something more local?’”
She also said that she felt it was important to support the SPCA and spread more awareness of animal cruelty.
She said: “The things that are happening to the animals who are coming to the shelter are cruel and terrible.
“It’s really upsetting to think that people are treating animal slike this — they’ve invited them into their home and cruelly abused them.
“People need to be aware that it’s not OK to treat your animals like this.”
A spokeswoman for the SPCA said that the money raised was a big help to pay for food and medical care. She said: “What a lot of people don’t realise is that the medical care is unbelievable. If anyone has a pet they understand vet bills.
“It’s an amazing thing that she’s done. She definitely is an animal advocate, which is wonderful.”
Skye said that she planned to have another fundraiser, this time through a “dog wash” for a small fee.
By Sekou Hendrickson The Royal Gazette