Albion Farm hosts occasion in reminiscence of Oakland Teen

Mac Vandeventer does goat yoga with the newborns at the ShineOnCass Animal Baby Shower & PJ Party at the Hart-to-Hart Farm & Education Center in Albion. Contributed photo

It was a slumber party like no other at the Hart-to-Hart Farm & Education Center in Albion on May 16, when 100 children in pajamas greeted baby lambs, goats, calves and other newborn animals who were also wearing pajamas. as part of the annual ShineOnCass Animal Baby Shower.

Claire Slevinsky strokes a two-week-old baby lamb and learns how to card sheep’s wool on the Hart-to-Hart farm in Albion. Contributed photo

This year’s event included hands-on training where kids learn how to milk a cow, get eggs from a real chicken coop, spin lambswool, and stretch out while doing goat yoga. Children could hold the newborns, learn about their care and experience a functioning organic farm.

Linda Hartkopf, owner of the Hart-to-Hart farm with husband Doug, said she was enjoying the opportunity to share her love for animals with the community.

“Many of the children who came have never been to a farm,” Hartkopf said, according to a ShineOnCass Foundation press release. “We take great pride in educating them about animal care and sharing our love and pride in raising them. There is nothing better than introducing a child to a newborn animal. “

Sam Wagner simulates milking a cow at the ShineOnCass Animal Baby Shower & PJ Party on May 16 on the Hart-to-Hart farm.

Hart-to-Hart Farm offers a variety of summer educational programs for children, adults, and families. The event is held every year in memory of Cassidy Charette, an Oakland teenage girl who died in a hay cart accident in 2014. Cassidy, known for her kindness as an active volunteer in the community, was also passionate about caring for animals as longtime summer campers on Hart-to-Hart farm.

“Every year when we stop losing Cass, we all have a special place,” said Cassidy’s friend Shawna Lachance, who now serves on the foundation’s board of directors. “We know we’re continuing the work she would have done all her life.”

Families who attended the event gave cash gifts and donated a truckload of food and pets that were donated to the Humane Society’s Waterville Area in honor and in memory of Cassidy, who also volunteered at the shelter.

Information about the Hart-to-Hart Farm & Education Center can be found at hart2hartfarm.org. To learn more about the foundation, visit brightoncass.org.

Paige Smith volunteers in honor of and in memory of her former soccer teammate and friend Cassidy Charette at the annual ShineOnCass Baby Shower and PJ Party at the Hart-to-Hart farm in Albion. Contributed photo

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