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State Honoree

Shelby Crawford

Arkansas

Shelby Crawford, 11, of Eureka Springs, Ark., a home-schooled sixth-grader and a member of the Carroll County 4-H in Berryville, organized a petting zoo event that raised more than $1,100 for a local horse rescue center. After reading that donations were needed by Tiny Timbers Horse Rescue, which cares for abused and neglected horses, Shelby hit upon the idea of raising money with a petting zoo. “I knew my 4-H club could help because all of the kids have lots of animals,” she said. “I thought we could put our resources to use and accomplish two things at once: a fundraiser and a community service project.” Shelby rounded up animals for the zoo, found a location for the event, recruited volunteers, arranged to borrow equipment, organized concessions, advertised in the community and then set up pony rides, animal displays and other attractions. The day was a great success, “Lots of children got to see animals they never get to see, and ride horses,” Shelby said. And, the zoo raised enough money to buy 250 bales of Bermuda hay for the horses at Tiny Timbers.