THE SHIAWASSEE HUMANE SOCIETY (SHS) received $964 from two inspiring Owosso High School students, working on an FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) project on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Shown are (from left) Patricia Skvarenina of SHS, Lily Pirochta, Maya Manuel and SHS Executive Director Nicole Brown.

   Pirochta and Manuel were initially inspired last summer by a social media post to create tire beds for dogs, with that first plan being to donate the beds to the humane society. However, the girls, both juniors, decided they were capable of doing even more to help out. Focusing on their independent project for FCCLA, the girls planned a fundraising event held at the OHS track last fall, which proved to be a success. For that event, Manuel had found a t-shirt design she liked, so the two approached John Hankerd at Hankerd Sportswear in Owosso, and he was able to offer them a wonderful deal on t-shirts that they turned around and sold, with all proceeds going in support of their project. The t-shirts were enormously popular. Another t-shirt sale was held near Halloween. The results being all shirts were sold and another t-shirt order was placed. Adding to this effort, the girls also had a Barkery Bake Sale during school in December, offering “Puppy Chow” and “Pup Corn” treats. NCG Owosso Cinema donated the popcorn for that endeavor.

   “We just kept getting more into the project as we went,” shared Manuel. Do the girls have pets? Manuel does not, but she is a pet enthusiast. Pirochta has a Rottweiler she describes as a “giant teddy bear.”

   The girls noted how grateful they are to all of the organizations and individuals who have helped them along the way.

   Skvarenina is shown holding Robin, a dilute calico, and Brown is holding Ruby, a domestic shorthair. Both friendly felines are available for adoption at SHS.

   The FCCLA is a nonprofit national career and technical student organization. More info is available at

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

Two inspiring Owosso High School students was last modified: March 13th, 2019 by Karen Elford