Young entrepreneurs raise funds for Washington Humane Society

June 2, 2014
Sydney Cicchini, left, and Kate Hardy are shown with their trading cards and a couple of pups at Washington Area Humane Society.

At the tender age of 12, Sydney Cicchini and Kate Hardy consider themselves entrepreneurs.

The girls, both in the sixth grade at McMurray Elementary School in Peters Township School District, designed and sold animal trading cards to fellow students during recess and lunch and recently donated a portion of the profits to the Washington Area Humane Society.

The reason for the project was simple, according to Kate, daughter of Alex and Tammy Hardy.

“We were bored and we started imagining creatures,” she said. Soon, a game concept was devised with different combined animals on each of the 27 cards. Each card has a point value depending on an element, such as fire and ice.

Sydney, daughter of John and Lori Cicchini, acted as the illustrator, drawing the cards featuring combined animals.

After receiving permission from the school board, the game cards were sold at recess and in the cafeteria in either a series for $3, or the entire deck of 27 cards for $7.

“It’s a little like War,” Kate said.

MERP, the copyrighted name, stands for Making Every Real Pet special, and that is why half of the profits were donated to the humane society.

“We both love animals and we have animals from the shelter,” Kate said.

Sydney said she has been a great friend of Kate’s for as long as either can remember.

With the school year ending soon, the girls said they will continue to sell the cards next school year when they go to the middle school. Kate said they also hope to offer the cards for sale in local stores.

To launch the small business, the girls had help through Junior Achievement, and the printing of the laminated cards was done through a friend of Sydney’s father.

Kate’s mother, Tammy Hardy, said the girls also began a business, K&S Enterprise and the cards are copyrighted.

In the future, Kate plans on being on Broadway and Sydney is still undecided, perhaps something in the art field, she said. For now, they like being young entrepreneurs.

For details on the girls and the cards, visit



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