Animal shelter benefits from girl’s birthday

BARK RIVER – Surely there were smiles all over when 10-year-old Paige Wirhanowicz brought in a large load of pet food and toys and kitty litter to the Delta Animal Shelter.

Instead of expecting gifts for herself when Paige celebrated her birthday on Easter Sunday, March 31, she requested that her eight party guests bring in food and other supplies for the shelter.

Paige is the daughter of Mark and Jennifer Wirhanowicz of Bark River (the Hyde area), and is a fourth-grader at Escanaba’s Upper Elementary School.

Paige said she got the idea to help the shelter after watching a similar activity on television.

“It was on the Disney Channel and kids were doing things to help each other,” Paige explained. “They were showing kids making up shoeboxes at church (Operation Christmas Child) and they were talking about looking for other ways to help others.”

She then paid a visit to the shelter with her mom to gather up some ideas and checked out a wish-list posted on the shelter’s website.

Even though her guests were happy to supply Paige with the gifts for the shelter, when they made their presentation to Paige, they weren’t done yet.

“We all made tied blankets at the party and cat toys,” she explained. “We took plastic Easter eggs and put bells inside and then sealed them up.”

But Paige, herself, wasn’t forgotten on her birthday. She later enjoyed a celebration with her family, and at least one guest from her “shelter” party also showed her admiration.

Smiling broadly, Paige said, “One of my friends said she thought it was a very thoughtful and cool thing to do so she got me some markers and an Easter egg as a gift.”