8-year-old Kettering girl to host fundraiser Sunday

An 8-year-old Kettering girl has turned her love for animals — and especially for her family’s two rescued dogs, Rocky and Zoey — into an effort called “Ella’s 900 Birthday Wishes” to help Dayton-area animal shelters.

Ella and her father, Chris Clark, will host a fundraiser and pet supplies-donation event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 13 at the Donatos Pizza restaurant at 3959 Far Hills Ave., where Chris serves as general manager.

Ella decided she wanted to collect 900 items to give to Dayton-area animal shelters by the time she turns 9 years old on Dec. 11, her parents said. Thanks to some help from Facebook and Twitter, and aided by a handful of charity events at local businesses and parks, she has already collected more than 1,500 items, so Ella has doubled her original goal and is now seeking to collect 1,800 items before her birthday, according to her mother, Hayley Clark.

At the Oct. 13 event, Ella and Donatos officials will set up a tent in the parking lot and will accept donated items that can be used at local shelters. Items that the shelters can use include towels, blankets, leashes, canned cat and dog food, paper towels, cleaning supplies and office-supply items, Hayley Clark said.

The 8-year-old is also building a giant dog bowl that will be on display into which monetary donations will be collected, with 100 percent of those monetary donations going to the “Raise the Woof” fund-raising campaign for a new roof at the SICSA Pet Adoption Center in Kettering. The other shelters scheduled to benefit from the collection of donated items include the Humane Society of Greater Dayton in Dayton and the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center in Dayton.

The Donatos Pizza restaurant is located at the intersection of Far Hills Avenue (Ohio 48) and Stroop Road. Officials from the Columbus-based pizza chain, which was founded in 1963 and which now operates 154 restaurants in seven states, are expected to join the fund-raising efforts on Sunday. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/EllasBirthdayWish.