WATERVILLE — The Humane Society Waterville Area was considering canceling its annual open house this year because of a lack of volunteers.

But then a group of local teenagers stepped in to help in honor of fellow Mount Merici Academy graduate Cassidy Charette, who died in a hayride accident in October in Mechanic Falls.

About 25 members of the Mount Merici Young Alums, made up of eighth- through 12th-graders who have graduated from the Catholic school in Waterville, will work at the open house from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday. Many of them are working in memory of Charette.

Charette was a volunteer dog-walker at the shelter.

Many of the students participating this weekend attended Mount Merici when Charette was a student.

“It’s something we wanted to do in honor of her,” said 13-year-old Molly Calkins, who lives in the same neighborhood in Oakland that Charette did and attended Mount Merici with her.

On Friday, Calkins, her mother Stephanie and a friend, Ella Moore, were setting up for the open house. It will include raffles to benefit the animal shelter, plus nail painting, face painting and visits with Santa Claus. The humane society is also offering discounted adoption rates for pets.

Visitors are asked to bring a present for the shelter, such as dog food or cat litter.

Rachel Ohm can be contacted at 612-2368 or at:

[email protected]