Picture this: Contest for a Cause collects items for Humane Society

PHOTO BY NICOLE WALBY Pictured are the donated items Taylor Elchert has collected through her Contest for a Cause event benefiting the Humane Society of Seneca County.

Having always been an animal lover, one local business owner decided to put that love of animals in the form of a contest.

Taylor Elchert, owner of Taylor Elchert Photography, hosted a contest two weeks ago called Contest for a Cause.

“If I could rescue every dog, I would,” Elchert said.

The contest encouraged the community to bring in items needed by the Humane Society of Seneca County, she said.

Elchert gave each item a point value based on type. The family with the most points at the end of the contest – which took place over four days — won a complimentary photo session with Elchert.

“I saw how much the Humane Society needed and wanted to help,” she said.

The contest would allow the winner to receive a free session with Elchert once a year for three years.

Donations included paper towels, more than 50 large bags of cat and dog food, 600 cans of cat food, 50 reams of paper, 30 books of stamps, cat and dog toys, and cat litter.

“I did not expect this outcome,” Elchert said. “I thought I would have to take at least two trips with my car, but I can’t do that with all that I have received.”

She said the Humane Society will bring a van to pick up the donations.

Elchert said the contest came down to four families.

“On the final day of the contest, it was amazing to watch them go back and forth from the studio to the store, trying to stay in the lead,” Elchert said. “They all were so determined to win.”

She said because of their efforts, the families all received prizes for second, third and fourth place.

Elchert said she is looking forward to having this contest again either for the Humane Society or another cause.

“I wanted to do something to give back and get the community involved,” she said.