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Kids raise $300 for hurricane relief

Three Town of Hamburg youngsters -- armed with a garden hose, sponges and towels -- raised more than $300 for hurricane relief in the Gulf by washing cars and selling hot dogs Sunday afternoon to local residents.

Dylan Wentland, 14, and his sisters, Lauren, 10, and Hannah, 7, assisted by several of their classmates and family members, gave $5 car washes and sold a hot dog, pop and cookie combination for $3 in the parking lot of C. John Crane Insurance Income Tax, 670 Abbott Road.

The money is all being donated to the American Red Cross.

"I felt bad for the people who were down there because they have no home and all their stuff got torn apart," said Lauren, a fifth-grader at Cloverbank Elementary School."

"I feel a lot of sympathy for our fellow Americans losing their homes and pretty much all they had," added her brother, Dylan, a ninth-grader at Frontier High School.

The kids reached out to several area stores to donate car washing supplies and food.

Among the businesses that donated items include Aldi, Coca Cola, Advance Auto Parts, Marth Auto Supply, Wegmans, Double "O" Floor Care and Rite Aid.

In addition, the children's mother, Katie Wentland, grilled the hot dogs, while the children's grandmother, Kathy Sweney, baked the cookies.

Just days after the 9/1 1 attacks, the kids held a similar car wash benefit, raising $1,500 for the American Red Cross.

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OLEAN -- The SPCA in Cattaraugus County is on a goodwill mission to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf. The Olean-based agency sent a vehicle to New Orleans on Thursday to assist in the capture and transport of hurricane victim animals rescued from the Crescent City. The vehicle they are traveling in is equipped to handle up to 40 animals.

The animals will be housed in a medical clinic until they are cleared for good health. They will be released to owners who can claim them. Any unclaimed pets will be taken to humane societies and SPCA offices nationwide to be placed in new homes.

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Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center team members responded generously this month to appeals for personal and pet care items for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

Recovery room nurses Cheryl Conti and Judy Ferchen joined patient care assistant Bob Johnson to spearhead a collection drive that yielded three fully loaded pallets of needed items that were shipped to the Gulf Coast by Community Newspaper Holdings of Mobile, Ala.

Memorial employees, volunteers and visitors contributed 75 boxes full of toothbrushes, toothpaste, food, shampoo, soap, diapers, baby food, baby formula, socks and children's underwear, along with food and toys for displaced pets. Contributions came from every hospital department. The pallets were packaged for transport by Tino Stinis and Mike Hardison of the hospital's stores staff.

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