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Baccalieu Collegiate salutes local SPCA

A love for animals and a dedicated teacher were two of the reasons this year's hero celebration at Baccalieu Collegiate was so successful.

The Grade 8 class at Baccalieu Collegiate put off a successful hero celebration for the Baccalieu Trail SPCA. Special guests Laura Lee Hiscock (far left), Sonya Baker (second from left) and teacher Caitlin O'Brien (third from left) joined the rest of the class for the cheque presentation of $1,100 to the organization. The students, in alphabetical order, are Alison Ash, Helena Carnell, Brandon Coish, Sydney Crane, Celine Delaney, McKenzie Doyle, Alicia Evans, Chantelle Fahey, Blair Harris, McKayla Hopkins, Allison Meadus, Nicole Pike, Emily Power, Marcus Power, Zachary Power, Devon Rodgers, Tyler Scott, Christian Snook, Cody Squires, Joshua Squires, Dawson Wells and Makayla Wells.

The 22 Grade 8 students helped their teacher, Caitlin O'Brien, and a handful of other faculty members organize an hour-long presentation involving singing, poetry reading and acting, concluding with some snacks and drinks in the cafeteria. It took seven weeks to prepare.

Each year the Grade 8 class picks a charity and raises money. This year, the group picked the Baccalieu Trail SPCA.

The students wore colourful scarves and ties as they walked around the audience with handheld, battery operated tea lights. It has been called the Flame of Hope.

New leadership

This is the first year since the school's inception where Joan Kelly, a former educator at the school, hasn't been involved with the event. She retired last year.

O'Brien previously taught in Marystown. This is her first year at Baccalieu Collegiate, and she was not aware of the hero celebration until she took her teaching position with the school.

Principal Roger Gillingham spoke to the audience near the end of the event, thanking O'Brien for her hard work. He said she was a bit nervous earlier this year about taking on the project, but the nerves were not noticeable as the students puled off a flawless performance.

"I was blind (about) what a hero celebration was supposed to look like," O'Brien said. "Ultimately, this is their big day, and I am proud of them."


There were collections and bake sales to help raise money for the local SPCA to honour the event. The group exceeded their goal.

A cheque was presented to Laura-Lee Hiscock and Sonya Baker of the Baccalieu Trail SPCA for $1,100. That money will go towards the shelter fund. The area currently houses animals in foster homes, but they hope to soon have a shelter.

Emotion overcame Hiscock and Baker briefly as they thanked the group, with each of them wiping tears from their eyes.

"All I can say is wow," Hiscock said. "We are blown away. There are no words to describe how this feels."

The students were happy to be helping with the cause, and put together a slideshow to show their dedication.

Photos of the pets waiting to get adopted from the Baccalieu Trail SPCA tugged at the heartstrings of those in attendance.

Also included were photos of the student's own pets.

Messages of support for animals closed out the slideshow, with groups of students hoisting their own messages.

"It's important to be caring"

"To love."

"To be kind."


"Be the change."




"Thank you."

To contact the Baccalieu Trail SPCA, call 597-5090 or email

To make a donation to the shelter fund, visit or the BT SPCA Facebook page.

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