Back row, from left to right: Brennan Ney, Madi Maxwell, Makynzie Curtis, Crisha Jugo, Casey Towsley, Jenna Cooley, Cullen Wood, Jake Hucko. Middle row: Caitlin OBrien, Shyanne King, Alexis Myers, Michael Lym, Dawson Seabolt. Front row: Ryan Mene and Benjamin Gasper. Photo provided by Eric Peterson

Back row, from left to right: Brennan Ney, Madi Maxwell, Makynzie Curtis, Crisha Jugo, Casey Towsley, Jenna Cooley, Cullen Wood, Jake Hucko. Middle row: Caitlin OBrien, Shyanne King, Alexis Myers, Michael Lym, Dawson Seabolt. Front row: Ryan Mene and Benjamin Gasper. Photo provided by Eric Peterson

DECA students help pets in need for the holidays

Oak Harbor High School’s DECA team held food drives in the past so they decided to change things up this year.

“They wanted to do something a little different and help our four-legged friends,” said Eric Peterson, club advisor and marketing teacher at the high school.

Members of the club, which focuses on business and marketing, decided to run a pet food drive for WAIF Animal Shelter. Though this was the first drive of its kind for the club, the students were able to collect over 200 pounds of cat and dog food last week, Peterson said.

The six officers organized the drive and put it into action with students in Peterson’s marketing classes. The effort included going around to different classes, making posters and posting on social media to spread the word. The type of marketing required for something like this was a unique challenge to the students.

“It was different because we had never done something that would appeal to someone’s sympathy,” said Casey Towsley, DECA president. He said usually the marketing team was trying to appeal to people’s wants and needs.

“We had to think of new ways to reach people and make them want to participate,” he said.

The club held a competition among classes at the high school, keeping track of the total ounces of food each one collected. Mike Fisher’s class won the grand prize of a pizza party on Friday, thrown by DECA.

Peterson said he delivered the truckload of pet food to WAIF Thrift Store’s pet food bank on Thursday as soon as the competition was over. Such a large donation will go a long way, according to Cinnamon Hudgins, development and communications manager for WAIF. She said the organization appreciates having a large amount in stock, so no one has to be turned away from the pet food bank.

“They were really excited,” said Peterson. “It’s not every day that they get a whole truckload of food that shows up.”

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