03/26/06 — Donations still coming in for shelter

View Archive

Donations still coming in for shelter

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on March 26, 2006 2:03 AM

Wayne County is more than $12,000 closer to a new animal shelter, with residents offering their assistance with the project and the new deadline for proposals from architectural firms nearing.

The county has set the deadline for cost estimates from architectural firms for the end of April, County Manager Lee Smith said. The first round of specs for the project did not provide the variety of choices necessary to come up with a detailed plan, so county officials decided to reopen the process to solicit new estimates.

County officials also chose to extend the deadline to expand the search to include national firms and to give all those who might be interested the chance to ask questions about the project, Smith said.

While they are waiting for the responses from the architects, county officials are hearing and seeing support for the new shelter from residents.

Many of the county commissioners and Smith said the public support for a new animal shelter has been tremendous. People of all ages have engineered fundraisers or donated their own funds to the shelter project.

One of the first donations came in January from 11-year-old Hannah West who chose to ask for donations instead of presents for her birthday. She gave $100 to the shelter.

But Hannah has not stopped there.

Her mother, Barbara West, said since Hannah made her gesture, she has received checks from family, friends and neighbors for the shelter.

One of the donors even suggested Hannah take fliers around the neighborhood asking for donations. He gave her $100 for the shelter. Hannah solicited the help of her sister, Elizabeth, and the girls continued their fundraising effort.

So, the sisters made fliers and continued to raise money. Since presenting the first check to chief animal control officer Jerry Pate, Hannah and her family have raised an additional $280, which they donated to the shelter cause at the end of February.

The Wests are not alone, either.

Other residents through the county have come together for the shelter cause and have raised about $12,000, County Commissioner Bud Gray said.

Although the county has some money set aside for the animal shelter, Gray said all of the $12,000 has come from the community.

A portion of that money came from another group of students determined to make the shelter a reality.

Tommy's Road Elementary School students Kelli Edwards, a kindergarten student, and fifth -grade teachers CathieHooks and Arthur Stafford helped create Pennies for Pets. The group's motto is "Pets are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole."

Principal Patsy Faison said by convincing other students to donate change for a new animal shelter, the group has raised about $165, Gray said.

More community involvement would benefit a new animal shelter, the animals within and the entire community, Gray said.

"I really hope that more schools and the kids decide to get involved in this kind of thing," Gray said.