Emily Smit loves animals so she chose to organize a benefit for the Henry County Humane Society as part of the work necessary for her to earn the Summit Award in Scouting.


The Summit Project, the highest rank in Venture Scouts, is comprised of four ranks and Smit explained the sequence as Venturing Award, Discovery Award, Pathfinder Award and the Summit Award.


"The Summit Award is the equivalent of the Eagle in Boy Scouts," she said. She conducted a fundraiser to collect items for the Henry County Humane Society –Geneseo Shelter and she was quite pleased with the response from the community.


‘I got the idea for the project from the Scouting for Food that is done in Geneseo and is a food drive conducted for the local food pantry," she said. "I used the same concept and modified it to work with the animal shelter."


Smit said she knew the shelter was in need because the current COVID-19 pandemic had prohibited them from conducting their normal fundraisers.


After contacting the shelter to find out what items were most in need she made tags with details of what the shelter needed and instructions on when to leave the items on the front porches of homes in Geneseo.


"I went door-to-door around Geneseo with a couple of other people and left tags on doors on Aug. 15 with the item pickup day as Aug. 22," she said. "I was extremely pleased with the results, as I collected 574 items, $92 in donations along with several books of stamps. A lot of the donations consisted of kitten food, cleaning supplies and office supplies…Thanks to everyone who helped with the project and to those who donated to the shelter. It is much appreciated."


Karen Russell, president of the Henry County Humane Society expressed her appreciation for Smit’s efforts, and she said, "We appreciate Emily’s help at a time when we really needed some assistance. The kitten food is greatly appreciated because food for the shelter dogs and cats is donated from Purina, but we do not receive kitten food."


Smit works as a groomer assistant at Pet Smart in Moline, and she said, "I have a love for animals and I am a pet owner of three Poodles and a rabbit so I knew this was the perfect project for me because I love helping out the animals. I knew the Humane Society could really benefit from a supply drive and I was more than happy to be able to give back to my community."


Smit is a member of Venture Crew 325 of Moline, which is under the umbrella of Boy Scouts of America…She said, "Venture Scouts started in 1998 and is a co-ed branch of Boy Scouts of America. It is open to people ages 14-21 and I have been in Venture Scouts since I was 14 years old and I am now 19."


"While I love working with animals, I am pursuing a career in Law and I plan to study Political Science in college, and I recently joined the National Guard as a Paralegal Specialist as well," she said.


Smit is the daughter of Alan and Cathy Smit, Geneseo. She recently completed two years of study at Black Hawk College in Moline where she earned an Associate Degree.