Emerson celebrated her 5th birthday on March 12th at Butterfly Pavilion. As is traditional of birthdays here, the party was filled with colorful decorations, excited friends, and engaging animal encounters. However, this was no ordinary party. Rather than accepting gifts from her guests, Emerson asked that each one bring donations of dog food, toys, and other supplies for a Boulder animal welfare nonprofit, Underdogs Animal Rescue. The event turned out to be a celebration of the importance of all types of creatures, from puppies to tarantulas!
Emerson has been accepting donations for nonprofits in lieu of gifts since her very first birthday. This year, her family chose Underdogs Animal Rescue because “Emerson has always loved animals. A close friend of ours is very involved with Underdogs and we love their story,” her mother said. The nonprofit focuses specifically on animals that they describe as “the forgotten ones, the misunderstood ones, the ones that get picked last.” The animals they rescue are saved from overcrowded shelters and rescue organizations, and are matched with foster homes in which they receive training and rehabilitation, and are eventually placed in loving homes.
Combining this donation effort with the birthday party at Butterfly Pavilion made for a wonderful celebration of a diverse array of creatures and highlighted the importance of ensuring they thrive. Butterfly Pavilion focuses on fostering an appreciation for invertebrates and their habitats, so an encounter with Rosie, our famous tarantula, was an important aspect of the birthday experience. Emerson’s mother said this activity was the best part. “[The kids] all lined up and couldn’t wait for their turn. Even the ones who were scared tried!” It turns out that holding Rosie was Emerson’s favorite part too and, despite some initial hesitation, she was back in line for a second and third turn!
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