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State Honoree

Ellanie Forbis

Riverton, Wyoming

Ellanie Forbis, 13, of Riverton, Wyoming, an eigth-grader at Riverton Middle School, worked with a friend last year to make stylish bandannas to dress up pets for adoption at an animal shelter, and then sold hundreds more to raise money for the shelter. “I have always had a love for animals,” said Ellanie, who worried that the COVID-19 pandemic would inhibit the adoption of pets at the local animal shelter and make it more difficult for the shelter to raise money. Since she had been making bandannas for her own dog and cats since she was 8 years old, Ellanie thought her bandannas could help address both problems.

Ellanie and her friend made small, medium and large bandanna templates out of cardboard, and collected donations of material from community members. After they sewed the new bandannas, they put them on cats and dogs at the shelter, and took pictures for the shelter’s website. Next, the pair made 500 more bandannas, and sold them both through social media and at a community event, generating nearly $1,500 for the animal shelter. The girls ended up with a lot of material left over and are planning to resume their fundraising efforts when summer vacation starts, with one design change: the leftover material is too narrow for bandanas, so they will make ties for local pets instead.