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‘August is for AniMEALS’ brings in pet food donations

“August is for AniMEALS” campaign raised over 2,469 pounds and 588 cans of pet food as well as 140 boxes of pet treats.

AniMEALS contributions totaled $5,405 during August.

Kimberly Hardiman, the event chairperson, wanted to “go big,” and this year’s sponsors certainly did just that. Lorna Medinger of Hughes Plumbing Supply and Debbie Basinger of Barnhardt Jewelers served on the event task group. They enlisted the support of five additional sponsors this year: Dr. James K. Jolly,   Lazy 5 Vets, Stitchin’ Post Gifts, Lettered Lily and West Rowan Farm Home and Garden.

“We were amazed at the response that we received from the community at our sneak peek shopping benefit that we held on August 28th,” Elsie Bennett of West Rowan Farm Home and Garden said.

Several of the businesses offered to put each donor’s name in a drawing for a gift. Tracy Trexler won a Yeti cooler full of people treats from Dr. Jolly’s dental office. David Barnes won a Milwaukee Radio from Hughes Supply. Barnhardt Jewelers offered a Southern Gates Paw Print Pendant that was won by Jim Whalen. Hardiman Designs also provided Southern Gates Paw Print earrings that were won by Carole Simmons. Stitchin’ Post Gifts held a drawing for a $75 gift certificate to the Stitchin’ Post that was won by Cindy Baker. Gina Goff won the Lazy 5 Vets drawing for a Yeti cooler filled with pet treats and gifts. West Rowan Farm and Garden combined the grand opening of a new antique barn and artisan marketplace with August is for AniMEALS. They offered a VIP early entrance to anyone donating pet food.

The proceeds support pet companions of homebound seniors across Rowan County who receive home-delivered meals.

Suzanne Weber, who coordinates meals for Meals On Wheels, also organizes deliveries of pet food.

“These women did an amazing job,” she said. “They engaged folks we had never heard from before, people who care about animals and now care about our participants.”

Volunteer Event Coordinator Kimberly Hardiman said, “We want to support the pet companions of these homebound seniors. Meals on Wheels Rowan only uses AniMEALS donations to purchase pet food and veterinary services. We believe companion animals are vital to seniors, especially during the COVID-19 crisis. Our homebound seniors are feeling more socially isolated than ever. Those of us who are animal lovers know the difference that a pet can make in our lives.”

Financial contributions to “August is for AniMEALS” will provide vouchers for veterinary services like rabies vaccinations and wellness checks. Limited grooming services will be available. All home-delivered meals participants must sign a pet agreement for volunteers to deliver meals to their homes. Pets must be contained during meal deliveries and have up-to-date rabies vaccinations.

Meals on Wheels Meals Coordinator Suzanne Weber said, “We appreciate the support of these local businesswomen. Our AniMEALS pet food containers are full again. We will be able to assist our participants with pet food over the next 4-6 months.”

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