P.L.A.Y., Pet Lifestyle and You, has announced the winner of its annual Scholars Helping Collars essay competition.
Andrew Harmon from Troy, Ohio will receive a $1,000 college scholarship for his service at his local animal shelter. Each year, P.L.A.Y. rewards the student who best describes through their written entry the impact he or she has made in the life of a rescue animal or animal welfare cause in general.
“It was clear in Andrew’s essay that what started as an Eagle Scout project grew into a much deeper passion,” said Deborah Feng, P.L.A.Y. Co-Founder. “His initiative and commitment to his local animal shelter impressed us, and we’re thrilled to award him with this scholarship.”
Harmon first reached out to His Hands Extended Sanctuary (HHES), his local animal shelter, when searching for a deserving cause to support for his Eagle Scout project. HHES was seeking help funding chainlink dog runs, so Harmon organized a fundraiser at Troy’s Tractor Supply Company with a photo booth for people to take pictures with their pets and secured a donation from a Rotary member.
As for the materials, Harmon contacted Lowe’s, and the corporate office agreed to match his raised funds and discount the rest by 10 percent, saving HHES nearly $1,000. In the next few weeks, with the assistance of his friends, family and Boy Scout troop, he built three chain-link dog runs.
Even after he completed his Eagle Scout project, Harmon continued to volunteer his time at HHES with various other tasks, including building an additional dog run. He was later offered a job at the sanctuary.
“I quickly fell in love with many of the animals, and for me and the other employees and volunteers, it’s not just a job, but a common desire to see the rescued animals receive a better life,” Harmon wrote in his essay.
In second place, Daniel Kennon from Winter Park, Fla. will receive a prize of 10 Warm Bellies Special Edition Chill Pads donated to the animal shelter of his choice. Elliott Davis from North Potomac, Md. will be awarded the third place prize of a Garden Fresh plush toy set donated to the animal shelter of his choice.
P.L.A.Y. collected more than 150 entries from across the country in this year’s competition. To read Harmon’s winning essay, as well as Kennon’s and Davis’, visit www.petplay.com/scholarship/winners/.