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Animal sanctuary fundraises to equip Special Olympians with Alpaca caps

By Kevin Maki, KECI Reporter, kmaki@keci.com
Published On: Jul 05 2013 06:21:02 PM MDT

The hats would equip more than 40 athletes for the winter games.

They'd be made from the fiber of Alpacas from Safe Haven Sanctuary near Corvallis.


In this sweltering heat, it might make you sweat just thinking about stocking caps.

But an animal sanctuary for llamas and alpacas is fundraising to make customized winter hats for Ravalli County's Special Olympians.

They would be knitted or crocheted from the fiber from Safe Haven's Alpacas.

It's located near Corvallis.

Special Olympian Camron Bailey has made friends with Kiora, the Alpaca.

Kiora lives at Safe Haven Llama and Alpaca Sanctuary.

Fiber, like Kiora's, would keep Camron and more than 40 other team mates warm for the winter games.

The multi- medal winning Camron is already in training.

"I bike around town twice, and that's a lot of fun, and drink a lot of water," said Camron.

Volunteers will knit or crochet  the hats for free.

But processing the hats costs anywhere from $50 to $65.

Supporters said they need stocking caps for 45 special Bittterroot Olympians.

"This gives Ravalli County Olympians their identity," said Ravalli Services Ronnie Freeman,"this is their team hat."

Safe Haven's founder, Char Hakes will donate the Alpaca fiber.

But getting the product from fiber to hat costs money.

The fiber will be milled in Kalispell.

It's time consuming.

There's shearing, skirting, cleaning debris form the fiber, milling, washing, carding, putting the fiber into skeins, dying it and rolling it into balls."

"We'll have to get this rolling," said Char, "winter will be coming on and it's quite a process to get it done.

This winter, Camron Bailey hopes to add to his medal collection.

His specialty is show shoeing.

For more information you can visit this website.