Little wildlife rescuers raise money for local animals

Little wildlife rescuers raise money for local animals

■ BY SUE ERWIN

Four young girls spent a recent Sunday afternoon raising money and awareness for local wildlife. Leslie Foxworthy, Dulse Foxworthy, Addison Miller and Tiffany Foxworthy decided to set up a lemonade stand on Little Gasparilla Island on a warm and humid afternoon … but not to earn money for themselves.

“We decided to give all the money we raised to the bird rescuers, because there are birds in need with broken wings and they need safe homes,” the girls wrote in an email. “We gave them all our money from that day because we don’t need any more candy or clothes … we already have so much, and we’d rather share it.”

Later that afternoon, the girls appeared at the door of Lori Charette’s home on Little Gasparilla Island, holding a jar full of dollar bills and some change: $49 and five cents, to be exact. Lori is a volunteer with the Wildlife Center of Venice.

“These young ladies spent their afternoon raising money for Little Gasparilla Island wildlife,” said Charette. “On their own, they gave up the day to help local animals from our island. This money will go to Venice Wildlife Center in their names. This is what our community is all about. Little wildlife rescuers in the making.”

Ashley Foxworthy, mom of Leslie, Dulse and Tiffany, said this is the first time the girls have done anything like this before.

“I am very, very proud of them,” Foxworthy said. “I loved seeing the excitement when people read about their actions on Facebook, and seeing how thankful people were for their thoughtful efforts.”

Addison, 9, Dulse, 9, and Tiffany, 9, are all going into fourth grade in the fall. Leslie, 7, will be going into second grade.

The girls said they are planning another lemonade sale fundraiser for local wildlife around the 4th of July, so look for them if you’re on Little Gasparilla Island during the next couple of weeks. They plan to again donate all the money they raise to the Wildlife Center of Venice.