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Festival to celebrate pets

"The proceeds wil be very helpful. Teammembers ususally pay their own way and what the proceeds go toward is providing supplies needed for building projects. It allows us to buy things that can make their lives a lot better," said Dunkleberger, who coordinates and facilitates teams throughout Upstate New York.

The missionary work varies depending on the location, said Dunkleberger. Ireland's missionary's did a few construction projects but focused mainly on building bridges between the Catholic and Protestant Church, which required a lot of relationship building. Cuba was working on people-to-people relationships, Nicaragua received medical assistance and the Iowa mission was a rebuilding effort from floods a few years back.

The festival's proceeds will go toward a team that's traveling to North Carolina to do various tasks, like working in a thrift store run by a domestic violence center, helping out at the center itself, doing some maintenance work and working on houses in the community.

Dunkleberger said getting involved with the missionary work has been a powerful learning experience.

"I enjoy working with the teammembers, coming to learn who they are, learning more about construction and the most important thing is learning and working with people in differant parts of the country or world we're dealing with," said Dunkleberger. "As much as we have to share with them, they share things with us so it's mutual learning."

The Great American Pet Festival will be at 971 Route 146 in Clifton Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $5 and children under 15 are free.

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