Nearly 30 canines have been entered in a Grayslake Central High School dog show organized by National Honor Society students as a fundraiser for a financially struggling no-kill pet shelter.
Open to the public for a $5 admission, the dog show will be from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday at Grayslake Central's main gymnasium. It'll feature dogs owned by students, administrators and teachers.
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Save-A-Pet Adoption Center on Fairfield Road, in unincorporated Lake County just outside Grayslake, will be the fundraiser's beneficiary. An outpouring of community support occurred after the shelter's financial woes became known in September.
Grayslake High School District 127 Superintendent Catherine Finger has noticed the students' recent fundraising efforts to help the no-kill shelter that serves about 300 dogs and cats at any given time.
"We have the most thoughtful, generous and other-minded students in the world here in our school community, and I am proud of them for creating this event to raise money for Save-A-Pet. Students and faculty have been talking about this exciting new event for the past few weeks and we think it will be a lot of fun," Finger said.
Finger said she's entered her mischievous Yorkiepoo, Christie, in the show. A Yorkiepoo is a combination of Yorkshire terrier and miniature or toy poodle.
Grayslake Central social studies teacher Heather O'Connor, a National Honor Society faculty co-sponsor, said 27 dogs have been entered in the show. By all accounts, it'll be the first dog show at the school.
"It definitely was a surprise when the kids said they wanted to do it," O'Connor said.
For a minimum $10 entry fee, there will be categories such as fastest eater, best in show, most heartwarming story and best teacher's pet. Each dog will receive a certificate and a donated toy for participating.
Grayslake Central seniors Danish Murtaza, Eric Donahue, Lucy Peterson and Anjelica Lopez will be masters of ceremony for the show that'll have an official-style ring and a holding area. Five teachers will be judges, and they'll award the biggest trophy to the best-in-show winner.
Finger said she hopes the dog show can become an annual event.
Meanwhile, the honors students already have raised cash for Save-A-Pet by selling about 140 paw print-emblazoned T-shirts at $10 each. The text on the shirts reads: "Bag of pet food: $15.00. Leash and collar: $20.00. The LOVE in an animal's eyes: PRICELESS."
O'Connor said some shirts remained for sale this week.
It takes about $7 to feed a dog or cat for a week at Save-A-Pet. Shelter officials say it costs $200 to $300 to take in and care for a healthy animal.
Save-A-Pet development manager Marc Portugal has praised the Grayslake Central students' willingness to help his organization.