LCHS teens ROAR to help animals

Some look to summer as a time to relax and refresh, but a small group of La Cañada High School students have been spending their break organizing and working toward an admirable goal.

They are members of Club ROAR (Reach out and React), a service club devoted to local animal rescue, and their plan is to create, promote and perform in a benefit concert for the Glendale Humane Society this Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge.

The show will feature nine youth musicians playing classical selections mixed with lively, modern favorites, according to 16-year-old Adelina Kim, ROAR's co-president along with Mikaela Choi, 17.

"This summer I wanted to do something big," Adelina said. "I was thinking, 'What could I do?' And a lot of my friends can do music and sing."

Although the club members' passion for volunteer work and fundraising on behalf of animals stems from their involvement in the on-campus club, Saturday's concert is entirely student-led, from conception and music selection through marketing and promotion to rehearsals and opening night.

Past efforts included a bake sale fundraiser, recycling drive and painting the shelter's front window in a festive holiday theme. This time around, Adelina was looking to make a bigger impact, setting a goal to raise at least $500.

The idea for a concert was hatched in April, right around AP exam crunch time. It wasn't until June that Adelina and fellow ROAR members, like 17-year-old Kelly Ha, got down to the details of arranging talent, settling on the date and location and thinking of ways to advertise the event. Adelina contacted the media, and she and Kelly posted fliers in various spots around La Cañada and La Crescenta.

Both teens are passionate about aiding animals. Although Adelina herself doesn't have any pets, Kelly, who has two dogs, admitted her house is a favorite destination for strays.

"A lot of stray dogs come to my house," Kelly said. "There's usually no collar, so we take them to the shelter. My mom told me (shelters) don't have a lot of money and don't have room, so I wanted to help."

Community-driven support is a lifeline for the Glendale Humane Society, said Executive Director Alyce Russell, the shelter's point person for Club ROAR. Because the no-kill shelter is privately owned, finding funding is a priority.

"We don't get money from the state or city so we have to come up with our own," Russell said. "(ROAR members) were very forthcoming and specifically wanted to do something for animals and have been very dedicated throughout the year — I've been very impressed with them."

The Humane Society houses anywhere from 25 to 30 cats and dogs, some of whom have been rescued from nearby kill shelters and, with a little love and medical attention, would make great pets, Russell said.

Money donations can be applied to surgeries and costs associated with long-term boarding and training. Donated goods, such as towels and flat sheets, paper towels and cleaning supplies like bleach, are also appreciated.

But for music lovers, Saturday's concert is a good way to not only help animals, but support youth willing to work for a good cause. As the club name suggests, Adelina explained, it's important for people to simply engage.

"It kind of applies to anything in life," she said. "You don't have to sit back and do nothing when something happens. You can reach out and react in the world."

What: Club ROAR's benefit concert for the Glendale Humane Society

Where: Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge, 4469 Chevy Chase Drive

When: Saturday, 7 to 9 p.m.

Price: $5, purchased at the door. Refreshments are available with a donation.

More info: (818) 242-1128,

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