Happy Cat Sanctuary in Strathmore received a generous donation from grade 5 and 6 students at Westmount Elementary School.

The students raised $2465.90 during their 17th annual Christmas Marketplace on December 21 and were able to choose and vote for which organization they wanted the proceeds to go to.

Marie Cooke, teacher at Westmount School and organizer of the Marketplace, discussed the importance of this annual event.

“It helps students learn about setting up a business. And to learn about profits, losses, how to set up a float, and money,” Cooke said.

In the past years, the elementary school has donated to the Strathmore Overnight Shelter, Wheatland Food Bank, Project Hope, Fish Farming in Haiti, and more.

"We are thankful for all of the families of the grade 5 and 6 students for donating the items and materials for their children to sell at the marketplace,” Cooke said.

Currently, Happy Cat Sanctuary is caring for 75 cats. Their capacity is 100 cats, but that stretches staff and resources thin.

With the recent cold snap, the sanctuary was overwhelmed with multiple intakes of cats with severe injuries, many of whom needed intensive vet care.

Michele Shave, director of operations at Happy Cat Sanctuary, expressed her gratitude for the donation, which has come at a time when it is most needed.

“We are super honored that the students chose our organization. The recent cold snap brought in many severe cases, and we have been working hard and closely with our vets to help these cats. So, this money will go directly to these particular kitties, as their injuries are extensive. We are super grateful for the help right now,” Shave said.

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