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P.L.A.Y. Names Winner of Scholarship Competition

Claire Binfield from Las Vegas, NV, won this year’s competition.

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(PRESS RELEASE) P.L.A.Y., Pet Lifestyle and You, has announced the winner of its sixth annual scholarship competition, Scholars Helping Collars. Each year, P.L.A.Y. awards one $1,000 scholarship to the student who best exemplifies the company’s core animal rights beliefs and who best describes, through an essay entry, the impact he or she has made on animal welfare in his or her community. Claire Binfield from Las Vegas, NV, won this year’s competition for her work with researchers on marine life preservation along with her role as a volunteer puppy raiser with Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Binfield has always been passionate about marine life, so in 2014 she self-funded a two-week Girl Scout Destination trip to Costa Rica and Panama to work with researchers on sea turtle preservation. During the trip, she participated in nightly beach patrols to protect sea turtles while they laid eggs, cataloged nests, evaluated unhatched eggs, and even helped release 100 hatchling sea turtles to the ocean. While in Panama, she also completed her open-water scuba certification, which will allow her to continue her work in marine life preservation.

In 2015, Binfield embarked on another Girl Scout Destination trip to Texas, this time for a 10-day marine science camp where she helped build and install monofilament fishing line recycle containers at a local pier. Through this volunteer work, Binfield also learned how providing the recycle containers allows fishermen to responsibly dispose of used lines and hooks that could otherwise harm the aquatic wildlife. Through both of these trips, Binfield solidified her desire to pursue a career in marine animal rescue and ocean preservation.

Binfield’s passion for animals has also extended into her role as a volunteer puppy raiser for GBD, a nonprofit providing free guide dogs to the visually impaired. Raising guide dogs opened her eyes to how service dogs can impact people’s lives through providing increased mobility and independence. This inspired her to create a social media awareness campaign, “Octaves Journey,” in order to provide schools and businesses with information about properly training service dogs and ADA accessibility rights.

“Claire’s passion for preserving and advocating for animals in her local community and around the globe is bound to impact the world in her future career as a Marine Biologist,” said Deborah Feng co-founder of P.L.A.Y. “Her drive inspired us to award her this scholarship and we are excited to watch her succeed as she begins her studies at Mitchell College.”

In addition to Binfield’s first place $1,000 prize, P.L.A.Y. also selected second and third place winners. Camille Hoffman from Carlsbad, CA, was awarded second place and will be receiving a set of 10 Warm Bellies Special Edition Chill Pads from P.L.A.Y. to be donated to the animal shelter of her choice — the NoWorriesMovement. Yasmin Ballew from Manteca, CA received third place — Ballew will receive a five-piece Garden Fresh plush toy set from P.L.A.Y. to be donated to the shelter of her choosing, Animal Rescue Tracy.

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Winners were chosen from a pool of more than 370 applicants from across the country. Each essay was judged by P.L.A.Y. representatives using the following criteria:

• Compelling and engaging description of volunteer efforts and their impact on the personal life of the student

• Thematic consistency throughout the submission around the central thesis

• Proper spelling and grammar usage throughout the submission

To read Binfield’s winning essay, as well as the second and third place entries, visit petplay.com/scholarship/winners.

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