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Students help Australia’s animals


Buddies Unified and American Sign Language students from Delaware Valley Regional High School have raised about $450 to help the animals of Australia recover from the recent devastating wildfires there.

Junior Bella Gohil of Kingwood Township, N.J., who is on the Buddies’ leadership committee, suggested the fundraising effort and then spearheaded it. The campaign included “canning,” selling koala-shaped sugar cookies, and hosting an Eyes of the Wild show in the school library. Her mom, Carolyn, threw in an extra $50; and the Buddies donated $100.

On Feb. 11, Travis Gale of Eyes of the Wild brought in an albino wallaby, a huge cane toad, a gray chinchilla and a tree-dwelling, prehensile-tailed porcupine from the Amazon. The cuteness of the porcupine and the softness of the chinchilla were highlights of the show.

“I like animals, I always have,” Bella Gohil said. “When I saw the fires were going, I wanted to help, and I knew Mrs. Jones would, too.” Janice Jones is the faculty adviser to Buddies Unified.

Travis Gale has been part of the Kingwood community for years, and his wife, Amber, is Kingwood’s art teacher. Besides seeing him in her elementary school, Gohil had brought injured birds to him. Involving Travis Gale and his wallaby was only natural.

Animals are a part of Gohil’s life. She’s had a rabbit and a guinea pig, and currently resides with a dog, a cat, and her brother’s bearded dragon lizard.

“Buddies Unified continues to grow as a school community, and as a community we like to do philanthropic events for needy people or organizations,” Jones said.

We want to give back.”

The money is going to WIRES (New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service Inc.). According to its website, it is “Australia’s largest wildlife rescue organisation. ... WIRES’ mission is to actively rehabilitate and preserve Australian wildlife and inspire others to do the same.”

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