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PA: Kane students to honor McCleery and his wolves

By CHUCK ABRAHAM Era Correspondent

Kane students, whose mascot is the wolf, are working to honor the late Dr. Edward H. McCleery of Kane who brought the Lobo wolf back from the edge of extinction.

McCleery raised wolves on the farm from 1921 until his death in 1962. He started with four wolf pups in the 1920s, and the farm grew to over 100 wolves in two different farms, the other of which was in Coatesville.

The arch from McCleery’s farm is still visible from U.S. Route 6, but unless one knows what they are looking for, it could be easily overlooked.

Enter the Kane Area Middle School (KAMS) entrepreneurial business elective class.

The students were at Zanadu Fabric, Yarn and Crafts in downtown Kane on Friday holding a bake sale to raise money so an official state historical marker could be erected close to the arch from the old wolf farm.

The bake sale will continue at Zanadu at 105 N. Fraley St. in Kane from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today.

Cynthia Wolfel, an Americorp volunteer who is working with the class this year, said the students have been working very hard to help the borough preserve an important part of its history.

“All the stuff on this table, pretty much. We got a few things donated but pretty much, they baked it all,” Wolfel said.

Wolfel said that she applied and received the Make Activities Count (MAC) Grant from McDonald’s. She said that the $250 grant went toward the ingredients and supplies for the bake sale.

Eighth-grader Riana Smith worked on the bake sale well before Friday, passing fliers out at her church on Sunday. She said the wolf farm played an important role in the development of Kane.

“It’s important because it’s one of the things that attracted people to this town,” Smith said. “It was really popular at that time, and it meant a lot to people because it showed how people care about the wildlife around here.”

Smith’s classmate Christo Park was walking around town drumming up business for the bake sale, along with his classmate Garrett Walters, who was dressed in a wolf costume.

Park said that McCleery’s actions to save the Lobo wolves from extinction was heroic. He also noted how much he has liked the elective class.

“We’re learning how to do business, and (about) the business industries,” Park said. “Right now, we’re in marketing and learning marketing techniques.”

Wolfel said this is not the only project the students have been working on. She said the students have taken the last couple years to produce a DVD for the borough’s sesquicentennial.

The production will also be presented at the Family Drive In on U.S. Route 6 east of Kane on June 24 and July 29. Wolfel said that the students have not yet decided as to where they would like to donate the proceeds from the DVD.