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Declan Tenbrink’s painted rocks benefit animal shelter

Like a lot of kids, eight-year-old Declan Tenbrink got caught up in the recent painted rocks craze. He and his grandmother, Mary Leslie Wilson (Mimi), began painting and hiding them for others. One day, Declan declared they should paint the rocks, sell them and contribute the money to the animal shelter fund. The shelter is earmarked for $250,000 in SPLOST money and will soon be built at a site on Roberta Dr. near the rodeo arena. Declan and Mimi set about creating seasonal rocks. They have done themed rocks for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years Day, Valentines Day, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter with more on the way. Declan also does signature rocks if you want one with your name on it. Declan set up a stand at the end of the family’s driveway on McCard Lake Road to sell rocks. Braving all sorts of weather conditions, Declan manned his little operation, waving an American flag at cars to get them to stop. ’One car stopped and the people bought a rock just because they had seen Declan out working in the hot sun for four hours,’ Mimi said. When folks asked about where the money was going Declan proudly told them of the animal shelter. Mimi’s poodles did tricks for those who bought rocks. Often, cars sped by, throwing rocks and dust up in Declan’s face but he persisted, eventually raising $50 which he donated to Fred Morris of the animal shelter committee. Morris, Mimi and Declan are challenging pet lovers in the community to match Declan’s contribution to the animal shelter fund. The shelter, which will be built by state inmates, should be completed within four years. The goal for the shelter will be to never put down a healthy animal. Contributions earmarked for the shelter may be made through the Community Foundation of Central Georgia, 577 Mulberry St., Macon, Ga. 31201. For information, contact Morris at 770-358-6500. In the meantime, Declan is still painting rocks. If you would like to support him by buying one, contact Mimi at

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