ALTON — When Quincy, an American bulldog/pit bull mix, can once again eat dry dog food, she will have selfless students from Alton High School to thank for her new teeth.
Teenage members of Y.E.L.L. recently raised $1,400 for local nonprofit organizations, giving $450 to Hope Animal Rescues, a Godfrey-based animal rescue shelter.
“That is quite a donation for high school students,” Hope Animal Rescues co-founder Jackie Spiker said. “We are thrilled. I went out and picked up the donation myself because I wanted to thank each of them in person.”
Y.E.L.L., which stands for Youth Engaged in Leadership and Life, came to light at the beginning of the current school year and was founded by Matt Butler, a junior at AHS who serves as president.
“We have around 20 members,” Butler said. “I got the idea back in middle school; I wanted to organize a club that would make a positive impact on our community.”
The group put together a fundraiser contest involving dropping pennies in plastic cups, an event to get classrooms throughout the school involved.
“It went great,” Butler said. “People were dropping $20 bills in the cups and having a good time with the event. It lasted two weeks and we raised $1,400.”
Dedicated to keeping the donations local, Y.E.L.L. decided on Hope Animal Rescues (along with the Oasis Women’s Center and Crisis Food Center).
“We got the idea to donate to Hope from one of our members who has worked with (the organization) before,” Butler said. “She told me they do great work with animals.”
Butler contacted Spiker to let her know about the donation. That same day, Quincy was rescued from out of the area.
“She is very sweet and just the saddest thing ever,” Spiker said.
Removed from a possible dog-fighting environment, Spiker says she looks to have been disfigured for breeding purposes.
“They pulled her teeth and filed down her canines so she can’t bite,” Spiker said. “She needs some pretty major dental work and we really hope to be able to fix some of her teeth.
“In honor of the donation, the money is going toward Quincy’s care. We wanted the kids to see where the money was going.”
It appears these kids have proven a loud Y.E.L.L. can make a difference.