Many Thanks! T
he new Avery Humane Adoption and Education Center would never have come into being without the hard work and commitment of a group of seasonal residents who banded together to form Avery Friends of the Shelter. Joann Becker, Marti Huizenga and Ann Thompson joined Rachel Deal in approaching the Avery County Commissioners to lease acreage from the county that would allow a shelter to be built in a location that would be easily accessible to all residents of the community. Once the lease was agreed upon, Mrs. Huizenga and Mrs. Thompson began recruiting dozens of others to help host parties and sponsor events, all with the greater purpose of raising over $2 million to build the new Adoption and Education Center. In addition to organizing the many fundraising events, The Friends made sure that the Humane Society would have a steady source of income when they opened the Paws & Claws Resale Store next door to the new shelter. Along with serving as the volunteer shopkeepers, The Friends keep the
The Blessing Almost 50 supporters, staff members and volunteers came out two weeks before the animals were moved into the new facility to participate in blessing the shelter. Blessings were said for the people who appropriated the land, those who drew up the building plans and those who labored to erect the structure. Prayers were said for the people who work and volunteer here and for the animals that find haven here. Finally thanks were given for the people whose generosity and sacrifice made it possible for the building to be constructed.
High Country Magazine
shelves stocked with a great array of lightly-used clothing, furniture, art and household items. “The educational piece was key to the project from the start,” explained Rachel Deal. “A commitment to teach our children kindness for every living creature was one of the main things Marti needed to be able to promise to the people she was trying to get involved.” More than a dozen major gifts came in from area philanthropists that include Martha Guy, the Estates of Alfred Adams and Dorothy Blair, Raymond & Beverly Lutgert, Sandy & Thomas Rouse, Bill & Sue Dalton, Bill & Kathy Avery, the Park Foundation, the Dickson Foundation, Toby & Wayne Press, Wayne & Marti Huizenga, Doris & David Swor, Katherine and Jerome Peterson and Joann Becker. With four summers of gala events under their belt and another season at Paws & Claws resale store under way, The Friends of the Shelter are committed to adding to their fundraising successes until the debt is retired on Avery’s new Adoption Center. “After the mortgage is paid, The Friends will continue raising funds for operations,” added Mrs. Deal.