Senior Muco establishes PAW Club at Becton


“I felt like it would be a good club to support local shelters,” stated the creator of PAW Cindy Muco.

Becton Regional High School Senior Cindy Muco has received an overwhelming amount of support for her newly established PAW Club.

According to Cindy, PAW, an acronym for Protecting Animals Within, is a club whose focus is saving abused animals or animals in need. The high honor student developed the idea to start this club over the summer and had gotten her proposal approved by the board of education at the start of the school year. Her inspiration for beginning PAW was her own pet dog Anderson who unfortunately passed away in a car accident during Easter. “The club is in honor of him,” she explained.

A few events and activities that are currently lined up for club members to participate in are volunteering at animal shelters, helping out at adoption events for animals, and volunteering at various food and toy drives. Cindy hopes that the school will allow therapy dogs to visit during Mental Health Awareness Month and will permit students to volunteer at zoos. PAW’s first event is a November Food Drive, which focuses on collecting donations of dry dog and cat food for shelters.

Special Education Instructor Mr. Maucione knew that he had to get involved when he first heard Cindy discussing her proposition for the after-school activity. “I was excited because I had a pet dog for almost fifteen years, so I felt like it would be a good club to support local shelters.”

While the two believed that a few students would be interested in joining the club, the turnout at their first meeting was much greater than what they had imagined. Cindy recalled, “We thought 20-30 kids tops [would show up].” However, approximately 60 students attended the meeting in hopes of becoming PAW members. As of right now, there are a resounding eighty-one students enrolled in the club’s Google Classroom page. Members are recruiting friends to join as well.

The club grew so large at such a rapid pace that Physical Education Instructor Mr. Settembrino decided to lend a hand by becoming a second advisor. “When we do something, we go for it,” Mr. Maucione added.

When asked if she saw PAW becoming a long term aspect of Becton, the senior admitted “My biggest fear is that once I graduate, the club will fall apart and it won’t be as passionate of a club. But I trust that Mr. Maucione and Mr. Settembrino will continue to keep it alive. I also feel that if the donations and drives are successful, people will continue supporting it.”

While Cindy is thrilled that her club has finally taken off, she wishes that she started PAW earlier in her high school career. “I have so much love for it; I wish that I could do it for more than a year.” Her advice to her peers that plan on creating their own clubs is that they do so sooner rather than later.

The senior advises students to join PAW because they can receive a lot of community service hours, they can benefit animals’ lives, and they could be the largest charitable club in the school. Additionally, Mr. Maucione believes that the club members will gain a sense of community involvement, share a common goal, and care for animals in general.