Funds raised through Bookmark Buddies will go directly towards the SPCA’s high-kill shelter rescue program as part of Scarlett’s Rainbow Rescue Fund, a life-saving animal program created in loving memory or Scarlett. She so enjoyed her time at the SPCA getting to interact with the new rescue pups and attending event so thelp find them homes!
Bookmark Buddies’ goal is to empower children of all ages and abilities to make a difference through creativity and community. Their tale began with a mission to turn sadness into positivity when a beloved, young volunteer of the SPCA of Westchester, Scarlett Olivia Chwatko, passed away.
Lanie, the founder of Bookmark Buddies, first met Scarlett outside of her gym class she felt an immediate connection to her. She asked her teacher if Scarlett could be her reading buddy. What Lanie didn’t know was that Scarlett was battling cancer. She was in a wheelchair and had lost her hair, but none of that made a difference to Lanie. She simply liked Scarlett and wanted to be her friend.
Lanie’s teacher granted her wish and the two girls quickly bonded. Even as Scarlett’s condition worsened, she loved to read to Lanie, and Lanie loved when Scarlett read to her. Lanie didn’t know that Scarlett was sick. This sweet friendship between a kindergartener and reading buddy held a special place in both of their hearts.
On March 27, 2019, Scarlett sadly passed away. Lanie’s parents, Heather and Michael, were heartbroken and fraught with worry over how to tell Lanie what had happened. Michael suggested that perhaps charity work would help Lanie process the news. Heather thought that sounded like a great idea but wasn’t sure how to get Lanie involved at such a young age. She also wasn’t sure how to tell her that Scarlett had lost her fight with cancer.
Heather went into the local bookstore, Scattered Books, on the hunt for a children’s book about death. While speaking to the owner, Laura, and other employees, Heather had an idea: what if Lanie made bookmarks with friends and sold them at the store to raise money for charities that were near and dear to Scarlett?
And so, Bookmark Buddies was officially launched. It is Lanie and her family’s dream to turn Bookmark Buddies into a fundraising organization so that all children can feel empowered at any age to help children and animals in need.
We appreciate donations of these needed supplies
Subscribe to our mailing list to get our latest updates