High School Senior is Animal Shelter’s Largest Private Donor | South Carolina News
By SARAH SHERIDAN, Anderson Independent Mail
ANDERSON, SC (AP) — A Crescent High senior has spent half his life donating to the Anderson County PAWS animal shelter.
Adoption supervisor Randi Leigh Ashley sat in the reception in shock the first year third year student Braxton Louch walked in dragging sacks of food with his family.
“I didn’t expect this from a 9-year-old,” said Ashley, who has worked at PAWS for 13 years. “He was one of the first kids at the time to do something of this magnitude.”
Now, half a life later, Louch is the agency’s largest private donor.
After donating about 10 pounds of food to the PAWS animal shelter to start, he started a new tradition that brought in $10,000 last year alone.
The Louchs have been hosting an annual Cars for a Cause for eight years, so it’s only fitting that Louch turned 18 on this year’s fundraiser day.
The event began after the then undecided 9-year-old asked for donations to the PAWS Anderson County Animal Shelter in lieu of gifts for his birthday.
“I’ve always loved animals,” the Crescent High School senior said. “I don’t like to do stuff for myself, I prefer to do stuff for other people.”
After Ashley heard about his plans to donate instead of receiving birthday presents, she wanted to thank him by posting a photo on social media.
He knelt down next to Chewy, the Chihuahua, who responded with a big smile, Ashley said. Because of this position, Chewy was adopted.
Louch’s love for animals comes from a home that has always welcomed outcasts, his mother Teryi Louch said. This is evident by the four dogs playing happily outside and their four cats lounging inside, all rescued.
On a sunny Monday afternoon, Oreo, a Dalmatian mix, obsessed with tennis balls but ready to play with anything, lays a rock at Louch’s feet. Meanwhile, Buddy, a Bully mix, trotted out for a cuddle before embarking on his own adventure.
“As a mom, I can’t express how proud I am of him,” she said of Braxton’s decision to donate to the shelter every year. “He is one of the most generous and humble people I have ever met.”
The family hosted the auto show that has benefited the Anderson County PAWS for the past eight years at the Civic Center in Anderson. The event will have vendors, food and raffles as well as a vehicle show.
Animals will also be available for adoption through PAWS and Ashley said they usually bring at least 10. The shelter currently has an abundance of animals, she said.
Louch’s love of cars stems from his father who owns a satin black 1959 Cadillac Coupe de Ville. Darren Louch was tinkering with trophies on Monday afternoon using scraps of car parts to form dog heads or funny figures armed with keys.
Braxton Louch received his first car at the age of 11, it was at the fundraising event that year. This is a bright yellow 1968 Dodge Charger, affectionately known as “Daisy”.
Cars and animals, what better way to celebrate your birthday next month than with the event that combines the two.
“Each year just got bigger,” he said. “It will be more important this year than last year.”
Classmates at Crescent High are joining the effort by collecting food with a goal of 3,000 pounds, said Dylan McCullough, spokesperson for Anderson’s Third School District.
“The impact this has had on the shelter has been incredible,” Ashley said. “It’s something the staff look forward to every year, the whole community looks forward to it.”
The event will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on May 22 at the Anderson Civic Center.
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