An orphaned baby goat will be the mascot for a new fundraiser in support of the Airdrie Health Foundation.
On Feb. 3, Lola the goat and her twin brother were born on a local farm. They became orphans at just one day old after the sudden death of her mother.
Sharon Shuttleworth, a local artist involved with Studio 52 and a friend of the farmer, offered to take in Lola until she regained her strength. Another family took Gary.
“I didn’t think she was going to make it,” said Shuttleworth.
“She was tiny and had pneumonia. I come from a farming background, so I was prepared for potential heartbreak.”
The little goat proved to be resilient and quickly recovered from her illness. It wasn’t long before she was bouncing off the walls of their home.
“She’s taken over the whole house with her personality,” said Shuttleworth.
“She’s such a character.”
Shuttleworth and her husband Wayne started sharing photos and videos of her antics on social media.
Lola garnered a lot of attention from the community, which led to Shuttleworth creating Facebook and Instagram accounts for the little goat.
“We were getting lots and lots of comments about how much joy she was bringing people,” she said.
“She was brightening everyone’s day during a very difficult time. February is a really dreary month, especially now with COVID and the added restrictions. Lola seemed to be helping a lot of people with their mental health, and I started thinking of ways I could capitalize on that.”
On Feb. 23, Shuttleworth launched The Lola Project, which is a six-week charity fundraiser that will benefit the Airdrie Health Foundation.
She collaborated with the other members of Studio 52, including four visual artists and a writer, to create Lola-themed art and merchandise.
The merchandise will include mugs, wine glasses, t-shirts, hoodies, neck warmers and greeting cards. Writer Sarah Zampa is also working on a children’s book inspired by Lola.
“The artists of Studio 52 are busy creating art to donate for sale as merchandise,” said Shuttleworth.
“We sourced local businesses in Airdrie for as much of the merchandise production as we could, including the logo design. All of the funds that we raise will go directly towards the Airdrie Health Foundation to support the local Mental Health Unit at Airdrie Urgent Care,”
“We’re hoping to raise at least $1,000.”
As for Lola, she has since moved out of the Shuttleworth’s home to be reunited with her brother Gary at a local stable. They are both in good health and full of energy.
At the end of March, Lola will be sent to her forever home with Carly Ingeveld and Morgan Cooper. The two women are responsible for the very popular Allen the alpaca, who has been available for hire at children’s birthday parties.
To learn more, visit Lola the Little Goat on Facebook and Instagram.
The campaign and merchandise sales will run from March 1 to April 15. Order forms will be available online.