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To Celebrate 50 Years, BYA Names Boomer Their BowWow Mascot

As the winner of the Birmingham Youth Assistance's 31st annual dog show on Feb. 12, the blind Australian Sheppard Collie mix will be the group's mascot as they celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.

Boomer, get ready for your close up.

This 9-year-old rescue dog owned by Birmingham resident Nicholas Feenstra has been named the 's (BYA) BowWow Mascot for 2012 and will represent the youth organization as it celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Boomer, an Australian Sheppard Collie mix who is blind in both eyes, was named the BYA mascot after he and his owner donated the most dog food at the on Feb. 12.

Feenstra and his family donated 120 pounds of dog food at the event, all of which was given to the Birmingham Pet Pantry — a local nonprofit that collects pet food for Gleaners.

"(Feenstra and Boomer) were overwhelmed with job when their names were called and immediately started running laps around the gym," Diedra Righter, the BYA office manager, stated in a recent press release.

In total, the Birmingham Pet Pantry collected 786 pounds of pet food at the dog show and since its inception in 2010, has collected more than 20,000 pounds of pet food in collaboration with its partner, Premier Pet Supply in Beverly Hills.

To either drop off or purchase a pet food donation, visit Premier Pet Supply and receive a 15 percent discount on your purchase. The store also processes donations over the phone; call 248-647-4310 for more information.

The BYA will celebrate their 50th anniversary on June 20 in with a special tribute concert featuring Steve Acho. Boomer will also be front and center at several other BYA events this year, including Youth in Service Awards in April, the Touch a Truck event in May and Breakfast with Santa in December.

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