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11-Year-Old Is Albany County’s 'Citizen Of The Month'

An 11-year-old from Ravena is the Albany County Executive’s Citizen of the Month.

Tuesday at the Sidney Albert Albany Jewish Community Center, Albany County Executive Dan McCoy honored Brady Arnold.  "It's an honor to stand her today and make you Citizen of the month," said McCoy. Arnold has spent the last three years organizing and conducting fundraisers: his spirit of activism was kindled when he saw a TV news report about a dog succumbing to heatstroke in a police car when the cruiser's fan malfunctioned.  "Later on there was a dog that got shot when he was supposed to have a vest on. So we thought that we should help them and give them a vest,  'cause that would save so many other lives."

With encouragement and a helping hand from his mother, Arnold immersed himself in fundraising to boost police K9 programs. To date he has raised $50,000. 

McCoy noted Arnold has helped numerous police agencies.  "The Albany Police department, Greene County police got a GoPro, you raised enough money for a two-day training session and lunch for the handlers serving Ravena and Colonie. That's awesome! "

Arnold's fundraising has helped purchase two dogs who work at the Albany International Airport, and buy Buddy Bags that contain trauma kits to help the dogs. He's fundraised outside a Walmart for hours selling candy bars, performing stand-up comedy, selling car wash tickets and hawking t-shirts.

The JCC's Janet Andrade says Arnold's efforts protects the K9 officers, which in turn protects the entire community.  "Unfortunately the JCC is no stranger to threats of violence. And when that happens it's our local law enforcement and their canine companions that show up to keep us all safe. As a community center open to people of all faiths and backgrounds, we know the power of people coming together to do good and Brady shows us that we don't have to be an adult to change the world, and we hope that all the kids that are here at the JCC see your efforts and realize they can change the world too."

Arnold's current endeavor involves collecting shoes to benefit the needy in Haiti.  Elizabeth Arnold is Brady's mom.    "So the shoe boxes are out, there's one at the Guilderland Library, there's one at the Ravena Library, the high school, town hall, we're going to see if we can put one out at the Bethlehem Library, also one here at the JCC on Whitehall Road. All shoes are accepted. Any size, any style. Just no roller blades or ice skates."

Arnold's goal is to collect 2500 pairs; so far he has about 700.   "Brady will get 40 cents per pound, we'll band 'em up and then they'll go over to Haiti where it's very impoverished.  It's been very touching and, like, a teaching moment too for Brady, because there's children there who don't have shoe, so we do like little baby shoes that he's getting, and we're just thinking about little kids getting their first pair of shoes, so it's pretty touching."

The shoe box donation effort runs through September 15th.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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