Kids, CNY SPCA Help Save Lives
By John Whitford
Each year at the CNY SPCA, hundreds of dogs, cats and other ‘critters’ (like birds, hamsters, rabbits and ferrets) are adopted into loving homes. Kids often play an important role in the rescue, care, and placement of these wonderful creatures.
First, a bit of history. The CNY SPCA was founded in 1891 to help ensure the proper and humane care of the mules along the Erie Canal. Over the years, the mission of the CNY SPCA expanded to include all domestic, and even farm, animals. Recently two pigs and some chickens found the CNY SPCA to be their temporary home.
So how do kids fit in? Let’s start with education. Many youth groups visit the agency during the year. Often, they bring things that they have collected off its needs list (such as food, treats, toys, and cleaning supplies). While touring the agency, they get to learn about the mission of the CNY SPCA and proper behavior around and treatment of animals. The kids give service and receive education, two very important things.
Many children visit the CNY SPCA with their parents while looking for a new pet. At the CNY SPCA we don’t ‘sell’ animals, we adopt them, so they become the ‘furry’ brother or sister to the kids or the ‘kid’ to the parent(s). During the adoption process, the family learns about the dog or cat that they wish to adopt, and the dog or cat gets to meet their new family to see if it is a good fit. This is a vital step, and when kids are involved, they often make the difference in if a dog or cat finds that special ‘furever’ home.
Sometimes, kids ask their family and friends to make a donation to the CNY SPCA instead of getting them a birthday present. This is a great way for them to start to learn how important giving back is, and it can be the first step in building a habit of thoughtfulness to others and kindness to animals.
Some youth groups, or even kids and their families and friends, do bottle and can drives to benefit the animals at the CNY SPCA. Perhaps a Scout group, church group, or class at a local school might take on such a drive to fund the costs of a kennel for a month (or even a year), and have their group’s name posted on it as a sponsor.
Girl Scouts work towards their Gold award and boys and girls in Scouts BSA sometimes do major service projects at the CNY SPCA, such as the Eagle Scout that created a permanent enrichment project in our cat playroom. A troop might plan a unit service project to clear brush and weeds and tidy up the grounds.
Perhaps most important are all the things that kids learn when they and their family bring home a ‘new’ family member. Kids learn to care for and train their new dog or cat – and they find out that those animals can love them, and they can give love back.
Kids, dogs, and cats go together, and the CNY SPCA is a great place to start that new friendship and adventure.
John Whitford is a volunteer at the CNY SPCA.
OCC and Say Yes Syracuse Partner, Address Cost of Housing
Graduates of the Syracuse City School District who attend Onondaga Community College – and live on campus – can now receive assistance with housing costs, thanks to a partnership between the college and Say Yes Syracuse. Through the Preferred Partners Program, eligible students can receive a maximum of $2,500 each semester.
“Onondaga Community College has always been a tremendous partner with Say Yes Syracuse,” said Ahmeed Turner, Say Yes Syracuse executive director, in a press release. “We know that by 2027, 70% of all jobs will require some education beyond high school. This new partnership will make attendance at a local institution of higher learning even more affordable for the students in greatest financial need, setting them up for future success.”
The following information sessions will be held in May:
Monday, May 15: 10:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. and 6-7 p.m. at Corcoran High School.
Wednesday, May 17: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Henninger High School.
Thursday, May 18: 1-2 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. at PSLA at Fowler.
For more information, visit sayyessyracuse.org.
Landmark Theatre to Host Encanto: The Sing-Along Film Concert, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert
Disney and Harry Potter fans, mark your calendars! The Landmark Theatre recently announced upcoming performances of Encanto: The Sing-Along Film Concert and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in Concert. Tickets are on sale now.
Encanto: The Sing-Along Film Concert kicks off a 45-city tour in September, and will stop in Syracuse on Oct. 20. During the event, a live band will perform alongside a screening of the award-winning movie (songs will include We Don’t Talk About Bruno and Surface Pressure). Then on Jan. 19, Symphoria will play music from the first film in the Harry Potter series.
“The Harry Potter film series is a once-in-a-lifetime cultural phenomenon that continues to delight millions of fans around the world,” said Justin Freer, president of CineConcerts and producer/conductor of the Harry Potter Film Concert Series, in a press release. “It is with great pleasure that we bring fans for the first time ever an opportunity to experience the award-winning music scores played live by a symphony orchestra, all while the beloved film is simultaneously projected onto the big screen. This is truly an unforgettable event.”
For more information about both performances, visit
WonderWorks Syracuse Offers BOGO Tickets
Has your high school senior recently been accepted to a college or university?
From May 3-7, with a copy of their acceptance letter, they can receive buy one, get one tickets for Wonderworks Syracuse.
“Decision Day is such an exciting time for high school seniors, and we want to help them celebrate this milestone in an unforgettable way!” said General Manager Jon Cascella in a press release. “You’re not going to want to miss out on this inaugural event.”
For more information, visit wonderworksonline.com/destiny.
Byrne Dairy Celebrates 90th Anniversary with MOST Exhibit
If you’ve recently visited the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST), you may have noticed a new display in the Innovation Station.
The exhibit, which celebrates Byrne Dairy’s 90th anniversary, includes a timeline of the company’s history, models of its dairy processing equipment, and glass milk bottles dating from as far back as the 1930s. It will be available until the end of June.
For more information, visit most.org/explore/innovation-station.
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