By ANDREA QUISPE, junior
Festive music, constant barking, and the lively chatter of excited kids sounded throughout the Edison PetSmart on Sunday, December 6 for one of the most important JPawS events of the year, Santa Paws. During the event, JPawS volunteers stationed at the front of the store greeted entering customers and pet-owners, while dogs, cats, and people of all ages waited in line to pose for pictures with Santa Claus. The club plans to donate all proceeds to the Edison Animal Shelter and other animal welfare groups in surrounding communities.
Volunteers worked diligently to help provide satisfying service for the many customers and pets who attended the event. Some assisted customers with registration, while others enticed the pets with dog treats and toys in order to encourage them to look into the camera. Meanwhile, some members volunteered to advertise Santa Paws outside the store, hoping to catch the attention of pet-owners in nearby stores with posters and bells. Behind the scenes, volunteers constantly uploaded pictures taken by the camera onto a computer in order to print them out instantly for the customers. On dealing with the large crowds that lined up to take pictures with Santa Claus, JPawS Vice President, junior Grishma Adenkar, commented, “We weren’t short on help at all, which was great because the traffic coming through Santa Paws could be overwhelming at times.”
While the dogs waited in line for pictures with Santa Claus, Ms. Jurgrau, the JPawS advisor was busy running errands, buying lunch for the hard-working volunteers. “The executive board worked hard to plan the event, but Santa Paws would not have been as successful without the help of Ms. Jurgrau,” says sophomore Anjana Goteti. Having advised the club for two years, she remarks that she truly enjoys working with such a dedicated and caring group of students. “Our group is composed of young students who give up so much of their time to help make this world a better place for our four-legged creatures,” says Ms. Jurgrau, “They work many hours planning events and ask for nothing other than help for the Edison Animal shelter and other charities to which we contribute.”
By the end of the day, JPawS was able to raise a grand total of $400. JPawS president, Elizabeth Lee, who along with her puppy, Teddy, felt satisfied with the success of the event. She comments, “Overall, it was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, being surrounded by animals and holiday cheer.” After three hours of continuous photographs with Santa Claus, JPawS was able to raise enough funds both to contribute to the Edison Animal Shelter and Canine Companions for Independence, a nonprofit organization that provides assistance dogs for people with disabilities. The JPawS executive board is excited to continue hosting Santa Paws for years to come and supporting local animal shelters and organizations.