Family members of Finksburg 5-year-old Sarah Orton have said they don't want their special little girl to be forgotten after she died suddenly Oct. 10.
At the Baltimore Humane Society in Reisterstown, Sarah will always be remembered after a plaque memorializing her contributions to the humane society was unveiled Friday.
"It was really, really nice," said Nicole Mathews, Sarah's aunt. "They did a wonderful job with it."
The Baltimore Humane Society and the Orton family announced in October that a foundation would be established and a plaque would be mounted at the dog kennel to honor Sarah.
For her fifth birthday, Sarah asked family and friends to give her cat and dog food, which she could then donate to the humane society. The Ortons had adopted their family pet, a beagle named Scooter, in 2001 from the Humane Society.
She got her wish and shortly after her birthday May 15, she donated a handful of bags of food to the animal shelter.
But, that was Sarah's last trip and donation to the shelter.
In just over three months, the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation has raised $8,800 for the humane society, which has exceeded family expectations, according to Mathews.
"It is amazing," she said. "I can't thank enough people enough for doing that for Sarah."
Wendy Goldband, director of marketing and public relations at the humane society, agreed the amount raise has exceeded expectations and pointed out that donations have been coming in from around the world.
"People rally for certain things and this is one of those," she said.
Donations to the fund have come as far away as Amsterdam, but also from California, Wyoming, Washington state, and Illinois among others, according to Goldband.
The plaque, which was unveiled to a crowd of about 20 people, is a way for the humane society to show recognition for Sarah's efforts, Goldband said.
"They've made us their charity of choice," she said. "It's real important to recognize and thank them to show our appreciation."
The Orton family learned two weeks ago that Sarah's death was caused by complications from a viral infection, Mathews said.
"The doctor said getting this type of condition is almost like getting hit by lightning," she said.
Sarah, who had just started kindergarten at Mechanicsville Elementary, was the youngest of two Orton girls. Her older sister is a first grader at Mechanicsville.
In addition to the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation, family members have also announced the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Walk/Run, which will be held every May around Sarah's birthday.
The first walk will be May 17th at Sandymount Park in Finksburg at 11 a.m.
For more information and to register for the walk visit sarahjayneorton.com.
To donate to the Sarah Jayne Orton Memorial Foundation, visit https://www.bmorehumane.org/donate/sarah-jayne-orton-memorial-foundation