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Karns City sophomore gets 'Golden Apple' award

| Friday, March 15, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Abby Drumm walks 'Winnie' at Orphans of the Storm.
TOM MITCHELL I FOR THE LEADER TIMES Abby Drumm walks 'Winnie' at Orphans of the Storm.
The Golden Apple Award presented to Abby Drumm.
TOM MITCHELL I FOR THE LEADER TIMES The Golden Apple Award presented to Abby Drumm.

RAYBURN — Although she's a bit shy and shuns publicity, Abby Drumm, a Karns City High School sophomore, received some well-deserved recognition on Thursday for, among other things, her service as a volunteer for Orphans of the Storm animal shelter.

At a recognition banquet sponsored by the Armstrong County Chamber of Commerce held at Lenape Heights Golf Course, Drumm was among seven people to receive the annual “Golden Apple” award.

The award is given to individuals who performed outstanding service to their community.

Drumm, 15, is the daughter of Michelle and Michael Drum, East Brady. Drumm said her desire to help Orphans of the Storm started more than a year ago when she accompanied her grandmother there to help her pick out a dog.

“I immediately knew that I should help the shelter by becoming a volunteer,” she said.

However, shelter policy states that volunteers younger than 18 be accompanied by a parent or guardian. That's how the volunteer work became a family affair for the Drumms.

“During school my mother and I come down every Saturday,” Drumm said, “and in the summer we come down more often. When his schedule permits, my dad comes with us. We choose to walk the bigger dogs, but when there is a shortage of help at the shelter, we walk the smaller dogs too. Most all of the dogs really look forward to being walked and having a time of human companionship.”

The Drumm family is no stranger to animals.

They have three dogs, a border collie, a beagle and a beagle/basset hound mix, a number of cats and one rabbit.

Almost needless to say Drumm loves animals and said she hopes to become a veterinarian.

On Thursday, after the awards banquet, Drumm and her family took advantage of the weekday time to go to the shelter and spend a short time walking a new, two-week resident, “Winnie,” a quite shy terrier mix that was recovering from a gunshot wound in the hip.

Appreciates help

Shelter manager, Beth Ann Galbraith, said she appreciates volunteers such as the Drumms whom she described as caring people who are keenly aware of dogs' needs.

“It's important to spend a lot of one on one time with the dogs,” Galbraith said.

“Every so often they need a ‘cage break' and they need to learn socialization skills. Abby also helps us with off-site visits to show our animals places like Pet Smart, various malls and other dog and cat events. We have about 20 active volunteers that perform a variety of tasks, and can always use more. We always need people willing to provide foster homes too. ‘Cat' season is coming up and we need foster home for cats until they can be adopted.”

Other efforts

Sharing her time to care for dogs at the shelter isn't the only volunteer activity for which Drumm was recognized.

She also volunteers her time to Trinity Reformed Church to make prayer blankets, apple dumplings, working at the church's Vacation Bible School and Christmas caroling at a retirement home.

Drumm is a member of the National Honor Society and helps with clothing and food drives, maintaining a memorial garden, making cards for people in nursing homes and gathering items to send to troops in Afghanistan.

She also belongs to the Born to Run Sled Dog Club and gives demonstrations on harnessing dogs to sleds for Boy Scout troops and school students studying the Iditarod Sled Dog Race.

At Thursday's banquet Drumm was presented a Golden Apple plaque awarded by Chamber of Commerce president Dawn Kocher-Taylor.

Tom Mitchell is a correspondent for the Leader Times.

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