February 13, 2019
By: SPCA Chief Communications Officer Gina Browning

Teenager Alicia LaBrake’s hard work has paid off for the SPCA’s Paws for Love program!

Alicia, of Lancaster, NY, was the recipient of the One Buffalo Community Award last December, and part of her prize was a donation by Pegula Sports and Entertainment Chief Executive Officer and President Kim Pegula to the charity of Alicia’s choice. Alicia asked Mrs. Pegula to donate to the SPCA Serving Erie County in honor of the Paws for Love program, a volunteer-run program through which pet owners bring their gentle dogs and cats to more than 100 area nursing homes, assisted living facilities, Buffalo’s Family Justice Center, courts, group homes, Hospice locations, children’s facilities, schools, libraries, the Buffalo/Niagara International Airport, funeral parlors, and more.

Alicia’s mom Lisa wrote this about her very accomplished daughter:

“Alicia, 13 years old, has been designing and creating earrings and beaded bracelets for three+ years.  She and I sell them at local craft fairs.  She has raised thousands of dollars for local charities either dealing with pets or those in need.  She has raised money for Wounded Warriors, Carly’s Club, Second Chance Shelter, Ten Lives Club, Citizens Against Puppy Mills, Joyful Rescues, Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, SPCA, and the list goes on and on. Currently, she is designating her proceeds to the Meals on Wheels Pet program (feeding the animals who are with the elderly who receive meals).

Last year we were at a Buffalo Sabres game and I noticed the One Buffalo Community Award being advertised.  So I nominated our daughter for the award. Much to our surprise we were notified by Pegula Sports and Entertainment that Alicia was the winner!  She received the award at December 8’s Sabres game, and she was asked to designate a charity she would like Kim Pegula to donate to on behalf of Alicia’s work.

Alicia asked that Kim Pegula donate to Paws for Love.  We have come into contact with therapy pets through being at malls, hospitals, nursing homes, and airports.  She wanted to give to those animals who give so much to others.”

This week, a donation arrived from Pegula Sports and Entertainment designated to our Paws for Love program, and we couldn’t be more grateful!

The SPCA extends a heartfelt thanks to Pegula Sports and Entertainment for the generous contribution to this important program, and to Alicia, for recognizing how important Paws for Love is in the community! Alicia has demonstrated that one is never too young to begin making a significant difference in a community, and she makes Buffalo a better place with her work and support.