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Oyster Festival Queen contestant brings awareness to local animal farm

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Brooke Rowe (left) and McKinsey Walker

For her community service project, Urbanna Oyster Festival Queen contestant Brooke Rowe, a senior at Middlesex High School, volunteered at River Birch Animal Farm at Locust Hill throughout her summer break.

Rowe spread word about the farm throughout the community to raise awareness of the attractions and exhibits that are on the farm. She accepted donations throughout her community service project that went toward materials for the farm, feed and care for the animals, and any other things that were needed or could be used for the farm.

River Birch Animal Farm is a non-profit organization that accepts donations, which can be tax-deductible.

Rowe volunteered most of her time caring for the animals and helping out on the farm grounds with anything that needed to be done or “prettied up.” She spent the rest of her time spreading awareness about the farm.

On July 28, Rowe hosted “Fun on the Farm” to spread word about the farm and bring awareness of the many things that reside on the farm. Families of the community were invited to the farm that day to hang out and enjoy the attractions. Children could experience what it’s like on the farm and interact with the exhibits. Baked goods and lemonade were sold to raise extra money in addition to the donations that had been given to go toward feed for the animals.

Rowe’s project was not all about the money; it was mostly about getting the community aware of how exciting and important River Birch Animal Farm can be. “Spring cleaning” is taking place throughout the farm grounds to better the appearance for visitors. Donations are still being accepted for the farm!

“I really enjoyed spending time on the farm with the animals, workers and, most importantly, the children who came to attend ‘Fun on the Farm,’ “ said Rowe. “It was a great learning experience and the children really touched me.”

Rowe has been a member of the MHS Student Government Association (SGA) for the past three years, and is a member of DECA. She has also been a member of the Middlesex volleyball team since her eighth grade year, spending three years on JV and two on varsity. She was a member of the JV basketball team her sophomore year, a member of the JV softball team her eighth grade year, and a member of the varsity softball team in her freshman through junior years. She plans to play varsity basketball and softball again this year. During her freshman year, Rowe was a member of the Middlesex High School Homecoming Court.

Rowe is keeping her options open when it comes to her future by applying to many colleges, but upon graduation she is thinking about becoming either a teacher or dentist. She is still undecided on what career path she would like to take.

Rowe resides in Topping on the Rappahannock River with her mother, Denise Brown, and little sister, Haley Cobb.

Rowe’s Little Miss Spat is McKinsey Ella Walker, who is the daughter of Russell “Lee” Walker Jr., stepdaughter of Leah Walker of Hartfield, daughter of Amanda Carter, and stepdaughter of Josh Carter of Deltaville.

McKinsey is the granddaughter of Russell and Christy Walker of Urbanna, Connie Houston of Gloucester, and Calvin Perkins of York County.

McKinsey is a first-grader at Middlesex Elementary School. She loves animals, swimming, the beach, and museums. When McKinsey grows up, she wants to own a restaurant and be a teacher.

posted 10.04.2012

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