Pleasanton Weekly

News - August 12, 2011

Valley Humane Society donations near $300,000 mark

Organization now has funds to operate through November, director says

by Jeb Bing

The Valley Humane Society has received $278,000 in donations since announcing last month that it might have to shut down operations and lay off staff without an immediate infusion of contributions, its executive director said Tuesday.

"Two weeks ago the shelter launched a month-long fundraising campaign to help raise enough money to prevent the elimination of programs and staff," said VHS Director Melanie Sadek. "The shelter is happy to report that enough donations have come in to make that possible."

"The 'Save Our Shelter' campaign has proven extremely successful to date so that the shelter now can operate through November and start to pave the way for future success," she added.

Sadek said donations have been as small as a dollar and as high as $125,000.

"In our wildest dreams we never thought we would get the overwhelming support we have received," she said.

Though the Valley Humane Society has received support from the community to head off its financial crisis, the organization is a nonprofit and still needs donations to maintain its services to the community and to promote future growth, Sadek said.

Lori Rice, president of the Humane Society's board of directors, agreed.

"The donations we received over the last week allow us to recover from the gap in our finances that we have suffered over the last two years," Rice said.

"As an organization that receives no local, state or federal funding, we need the community to continue to support our organization," she added. "This organization still costs $500,000 a year to run."

Sadek said that she and the board of directors, in a plan to provide ongoing income along with donations, will add more fee-for-service programs. These programs will include dog training, educational camps and seminars. A corporate team building program also is being developed to encourage more corporate donations.

An events committee also has been formed to start to develop numerous community oriented events that help bring in donations and allow VHS to strengthen its community presence.

These will include a dog walk-a-thon in a downtown Pleasanton park in early October, and a Halloween canine costume contest and family event from 6-9 p.m. Oct. 28 at A Touch of Health in downtown Pleasanton.

"The future of Valley Humane Society looks a little brighter today. We have been touched by the community support we have received and we hope our new supporters will be a part of the Valley Humane Society family for years to come," Sadek said.

The Valley Humane Society plans to continue its "Save Our Shelter" campaign with the help of numerous local businesses and organizations that are coordinating fundraiser events.

Upcoming events to benefit the Valley Humane Society include the following:

* All-day Sunday, Aug. 14, and from 4-9 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18: 25% of all sales at Roundtable Pizza, at 530 Main St. Print a flier from www.valleyhumane.org.

* Saturday, Aug. 27, all day: Macy's, Stoneridge Shopping Center, Macy's Shop for a Cause. Purchase a $5 ticket at Valley Humane Society and enjoy a day of discounts, entertainments, special events and a chance to win a $500 shopping spree.

* Saturday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.: Olde Towne Antiques Mall, 3440 Stanley Blvd., Pleasanton. Antique Fair in the parking lot to benefit Valley Humane Society.

* Sunday, Aug. 28, 3 p.m.: free animal blessing at Lynnewood Methodist Church, 4444 Black Ave, Pleasanton. Donations are welcome.

* Precision Auto Repair, 164-A Wyoming St., Pleasanton, will match donations to the Valley Humane Society left at its business for a limited time.

Those interested in making a monetary donation to the Valley Humane Society, can go to www.valleyhumane.org or mail a check to 3670 Nevada St., Pleasanton 94566. Donations can also be made over the phone by calling 426-8656.

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