Students request pet food for birthday gifts

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Felida -- Some lucky cats and dogs will have full bellies thanks to the fundraising efforts of a brother and sister who asked for pet food donations instead of birthday presents this year. Felida Elementary School fourth-grader Jared Wallingford and Thomas Jefferson Middle School sixth-grader Alicia Wallingford collected more than 1,700 pounds of pet food for Pet Aid of Washington and the Humane Society for Southwest Washington. Its the fourth year the Wallingford family has gathered donations for the Julie Reamer Memorial Pet Food Drive, named after their friend and neighbor who died in 2009. In its first year, the family donated 200 pounds of food; the total has increased each year since. Jared's birthday was Feb. 1 and Alicia's was March 5. The kids got help from peers who competed classroom by classroom to see which could collect the most pet food.