10-year-old Denna Chivers donates pavilion, table to animal shelter


Left to right: Capt. Tim McKoy, Cullman County Sheriff Matt Gentry, Denna Chivers, Cullman County Commissioner Kerry Watson and Cullman County Commission Chairman Kenneth Walker stand in front of the new covered pavilion that Denna donated to the Cullman County Animal Shelter. Denna earned the money for the pavilion through yard sales. (Christy Perry for The Tribune)

CULLMAN – A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held Friday morning, July 13, at the Cullman County Animal Shelter to unveil a new covered meet-and-greet area. The area was made possible by 10-year-old Denna Chivers, an aspiring veterinarian, who donated the new covered pavilion and picnic table (painted Denna’s favorite color: purple).

Denna, who will be a fifth-grader this year at Cullman Christian School, loves animals and especially wants to help those in need of rescue.

The Tribune first met Denna last July, when she was holding a yard sale to raise money (www.cullmantribune.com/articles/2017/07/25/never-too-young-make-difference-meet-denna-chivers). She made $400. She and her mother, Beth Ann Chivers, bought food, cleaning supplies, litter and other wish list items and donated it all to the shelter.

This summer, Denna had another yard sale and earned an astonishing $1,400. With it, she bought the covered pavilion, along with the purple picnic table, that now provide shade and seating to a once bare area.

Denna explained, “I wanted to give the animals something bigger and I had heard that the shelter needed a better area for people to bring their dogs, so they can meet and interact with a dog they hoped to adopt.”

The shelter’s Capt. Tim McKoy said he was “blown away” by Denna’s generosity.

“I think it’s amazing that a 10-year-old would have the fortitude to donate all of her hard-earned money and I am grateful that she chose to help the shelter animals,” he said.

McKoy was so moved by Denna’s gift that he had a special sign made that now hangs from the pavilion with Denna’s name.

Denna and her grandmother, Lois Dunkle, also made homemade dog treats for the shelter dogs and donated $65 to cover a cat or kitten adoption fee.

According to Beth Ann, “We plan on donating more food and supplies with the money left over from Denna’s yard sale.”

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