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Sammy teaches more than collecting candy; saving money

Sammy the Rabbit and his creator Sam Renick made an appearance July 18 at the base auditorium. Sammy teaches kids the importance of saving money. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kim Young)

Sammy the Rabbit and his creator Sam Renick made an appearance July 18 at the base auditorium. Sammy teaches kids the importance of saving money. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Kim Young)

PETERSON AFB, Colo. -- Hop over Peter Cottontail, there's a new rabbit in town, and he goes by the name of Sammy the Saver.

Sammy, also known as "Get in the Habit Rabbit," made a special appearance July 18 for more than 100 children in the Peterson auditorium. Sammy appeared with Sam Renick, author and co-creator of Sammy the Rabbit.

The children, ages 5-12, enjoyed Mr. Renick's animated presentation, as he told the story of Sammy's pursuit to save and why it is important to start saving money at an early age.

"Advertisers are targeting children at earlier ages, which makes it difficult to influence them as they grow older," a very passionate Mr. Renick said. His previous career as a financial planner gave him the opportunity to see people needed to start saving money at an earlier age which prompted him to write, "It's A Habit, Sammy Rabbit." Sammy the Rabbit proved to be a positive influence, as all the children raised their hands at the end of the presentation when they were asked who would start saving money.

Some of the children who attended the presentation are already saving money for various reasons.

"I saw a really cool bike and my mom said I could get it when I was 7," said Jordan Wilbur, 6.

Other children were excited to let Sammy know they were saving and why. "I'm saving money for a cell phone or a babydoll," said Malia Price, age 8. Price stated she saves the money she gets from doing household chores and rescuing lost animals, but keeps $9 in her purse "for emergencies."

Jordan Purinton, 12, has been saving for most of his life and has not only one savings account, but two. Purinton is very dedicated to saving money and said he will use the money for college if needed, but hopes to get a basketball scholarship to either Ohio State, Georgetown, or University of North Carolina. "I just decided to start saving," was Purinton's response to why he felt saving was necessary.

Sammy's visit was coordinated by Jeanette Rainey from Airman and Family Readiness Center, and Karen Kirshenbaum from R. P Lee Youth Center.

"The counselors at the youth center wanted a money management theme," said Ms. Kirshenbaum. "After hearing about Sammy's presentation, I knew this was an excellent opportunity to get the children involved and interested in saving. It was a great presentation and the children are very excited." 

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