DANVILLE -- A holiday shopping event at Danville High School will benefit a student group that hopes to make a difference in the community.

Vendors are still needed for the Countdown to Christmas event set for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14, in the DHS Field House.

Vendor booths cost $30 for one spot and $55 for a double booth.

All proceeds from the event will go to the fund the DHS Future Problem Solvers’ Project P.A.W.S. (People Against Wrongful Surrender): Promoting Safe and Humane Surrender of Pets.

For their project this year, the FPS team is working with area humane societies to install small animal safe haven hutches and to educate the community on the importance of safely relinquishing animals to a shelter. DHS’ building and construction classes are building the hutches.

“We have to find a way that’s feasible to protect the animals,” said DHS math teacher Lori Woods, who is the adviser for both FPS and the freshman/sophomore student council.

“If you want the shelters to accept more animals, we have to help support them,” she said.

Shoppers are encouraged to bring pet food and pet supplies to the event for the DHS Student Council’s Giving Tree, which is the central location where all of DHS’ clubs will place their donations to be distributed to various community organizations, such as the St. James United Methodist Church’s food pantry and the Vermilion County Animal Shelter.

“Whatever they do to help will support the fight against the abandoned animal issue in this area,” Woods said of the pet supply donations.

More vendors are being sought for the holiday shopping event.

“We are still looking for vendors,” DHS Principal Tracy Cherry said. “I have a corps of vendors I rely on, but there is room for more.”

Some of the direct sales vendors already lined up include Origami Owl, Paparazzi, Rada Cutlery, Scentsy and Young Living Essential Oils.

“We also have several craft and resale vendors,” Woods said.

“We want to get as many vendors as we can because we want to have a lot of variety so people can get their last-minute Christmas shopping wrapped up,” Cherry said. “We are looking for vendors who are looking to kick off their business.”

In addition to the vendors, the FPS group is organizing a holiday bake sale, door prize giveaway and drawing.

“We will have hot tea, coffee and a hot chocolate bar,” Woods said. “The FPS students will be doing an old-fashioned bake sale.”

Woods is seeking local businesses to donate gift cards for the fundraising event.

“We’re looking for donations of gift cards so we can make gift card wreaths,” she said.

Cherry, who is the new DHS principal this year, said she hopes the event will help showcase the high school and build a relationship with the public.

“We have the facilities here to hold the event,” she said. “And we’re trying to make that connection through our students and open our doors to bring the community into our building.”

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