A whole catch of cat-crazy cardboard construction artists descended on Saint John’s Market Square Saturday for the second annual Cardboard for Kitty event.
The idea started with Hannah and Grace Totten who wanted to find a way to raise money for the SPCA while giving others a chance to learn and have fun.
“We really like animals and we thought the SPCA would be a good place to donate to,” said Grace Totten in an interview.
Originally the girls wanted to host a bake sale, but their mother pushed them to think bigger and last year the inaugural event raised $4,500 for the Saint John SPCA.
One team from Lakewood Heights School took the think bigger mantra to heart. The team of Samuel Gaines, Chaisy Kirkpatrick, Brianna Belding and Michael Shonaman spent weeks working on their design, even featuring an automated feeder coded by Shonaman.
“We went over that design like a whole bunch of times. Like we went two weeks just planning out the design and figuring out what we needed,” said Kirkpatrick.
The team was nominated from various classes by their teacher, and share a love of cats and creativity.
“We’re kinda the people who really like art and are really artistic and like cats and building and things like that,” Gaines said.
“We love cats and we thought it would be a lot of fun to create houses out of cardboard for them,” said Belding.
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Helping the team build their three-storey cat condo was Lakewood Heights teacher Anne Ervine. She said the event is not only a tonne of fun, but also encourages creativity and teamwork.
“I think it’s a great opportunity. We should have more activities like this, where they’re making a difference and using their creative energies to do it,” Ervine said.
After the success of the event the Totten sisters have been asked for help putting on the event in other cities.
When asked why they liked putting on the event so much, the sisters were quick to turn the attention away from themselves.
“I really like watching the teams build their cat homes and seeing what they come up with.” Hannah said.
“I like watching everyone have an amazing time at this event,” said Grace.