Conway school helping damaged birds of prey rehab center
CONWAY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A school in Franklin County is coming to the rescue of a community member in need and students are using their artistic skills to raise money for a good cause.
“To be honest, I was humbled. I thought just the outpouring from the people was quite a bit, but when I heard the children involved it was unbelievable, just great kids,” said Tom Ricardi, owner of Mass. Bird of Prey Rehab in Conway.
During a storm last month, heavy winds brought down trees causing severe damage to the cages and killing three birds at Ricardi’s rehab facility. The community immediately jumped in to help after learning how much it would cost Ricardi to rebuild.
“Children came into the classroom really concerned for what has happened because they know Tom from community events,” said Jennifer Wheeler, a first-grade teacher at Conway Grammar School.
Wheeler told Western Mass News that helping Ricardi became a whole school effort with kindergarteners designing calendars, first graders weaving potholders and painting pinch pots, and third graders creating bookmarks
“Mostly the ones that Tom Ricardi has,” said third grader Martin, who was drawing birds of prey on bookmarks.
One of the teachers even joined in to sew little stuffed owls. Jeremy Brunaccioni, the kindergarten teacher, told us when word spread about their efforts and other groups wanted to join in
“We hooked up with a local organization in Greenfield who is donating costs, so when we sell these at the local bookstore, World Eye, all the money goes to Tom’s fund to help the birds,” brunaccioni said.
The school plans to sell the 90 items at a parent-teacher meeting at the end of March. The pinch pots, potholders, and bookmarks will all go for $1 a piece. The calendars will be sold at World Eye Bookshop for approximately $12. All profits earned go to directly to Ricardi.
“Hopefully, it will result in Tom fixing those bird cages and have any money left over to make those repairs,” Brunaccioni added.
“I can’t say it enough, great kids, just overwhelmed,” Ricardi said.
If you are interested in purchasing a pinch pot, a pot holder, or a calendar:
- Potholders and pinch pots will be availble April 1. Call Conway Grammar School at (413) 369-4239 for details.
- Calendars and bookmarks available at World Eye Bookshop in Greenfield
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