Raining cats and dogs: A different kind of children's birthday party

The children who came to Adelaide's 6th birthday party didn't bring her any presents. It's a party that she'll never forget.

What the children who joined her, and her 3-year-old brother Calvin, brought to the party were cans of dog and cat food, old tennis balls, blankets, flea collars, and pig's ears. That's because in lieu of presents for herself, Addie Gardiner asked her guests to bring donations for the cats and dogs of the town where she and her family spend their summers, Falmouth, MA. The children filled three 30 gallon bins with their gifts.

The idea came from a magazine article that their mother Patti Gardiner had read. It was about a child who had a party for the benefit of her furry friends. Patti, recently retired from a 23-year career with Delta Airlines (and hence had a bit of time for creativity) suggested the idea to Addie. Three year old Calvin's birthday is close to his sister's, he liked the idea too ,and so a joint birthday party to benefit the dogs and cats of Falmouth was born.