My Turn, Nina Dix: Nancy Stanback generous with time, donations to help animals

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 5, 2021

By Nina Dix

On July 29, Salisbury and the surrounding community lost a very well-known philanthropist, Nancy Stanback. Along with her late husband Bill Stanback, Nancy very generously supported countless causes and projects to better the lives of the people in their own community

Nancy and Bill generously supported better education facilities and opportunities. Together, they funded and supported beautiful recreation areas, preserving and protecting local nature and our precious land resources. Nancy and Bill did all these things for the enjoyment and quality of life for all the people in this area for generations to come. It would be impossible to live in Salisbury or the surrounding community and not utilize or enjoy at least one service or amenity that has been brought to you in part by the kindness and generosity of Nancy and Bill Stanback. Regardless of your economic status, if you live, work, go to college or visit in the Salisbury and surrounding community, Nancy and Bill have quietly touched your life with a humble generosity that will be profoundly missed with Nancy’s passing.

But there was also another side of Nancy Stanback that may not be as well known to people. Nancy Stanback also had a strong passion for protecting and being the voice for homeless companion animals.

Here are just a few of Nancy’s gifts to area homeless animals.

Without Nancy’s generous financial support, the building for Faithful Friends Animal Sanctuary in Salisbury could not have been completed. They would not have been able to provide safe haven and adoption for the animals that have been helped there over the years.

Nancy Stanback’s generous financial support also provided the transportation vehicle and more to the Rowan County Humane Society’s Sugarfoot Express that for years transported cats and dogs to lower cost spay and neuter locations in other counties.

And one of Nancy Stanback’s most unbelievably generous contributions to the homeless animals of Rowan County is her donation to Shelter Guardians, financially and by serving on the Shelter Guardians board. Nancy’s financial donation is a major part of the reason that the Nina Dix Dog Adoption Center can be built using no tax payer dollars, named by her, and gifted back to the people of Rowan County to help them serve their huge homeless dog and cat population.

Nancy Stanback’s contributions to homeless animals was not only monetary. Nancy had a strong “hands on” volunteer presence in the years she served on the Shelter Guardians board. Nancy volunteered and participated in adoption events with Shelter Guardians at the Rowan County Shelter. Nancy showed up in her jeans and T-shirt for “hands on” involvement with the animals to help them be adopted into a loving home. Nancy showed up and worked at the fundraising events like Coffee and Cutting sponsored by Jean McCoy. She worked hours at the admissions table in the sweltering N.C. summer heat to raise funds to help homeless dogs and cats. Nancy Stanback also personally rescued, fed and spayed or neutered numerous stray cats around her own neighborhood over the years, including her beloved “Mazie” and the striking “Pretty Boy.”

On one hand, Nancy Stanback was a strong warrior for the protection and care of the voiceless and homeless cats and dogs in Rowan County. On the other hand, she was a kind, compassionate and generous person who not only cared, but acted on it. Among all the unbelievably generous things that Nancy and her sweet Bill Stanback did to improve the lives of people in their own community, it is the people of the animal world that will never forget her many accomplishments and gifts, both financially and of her time, to the helpless homeless cats and dogs of Rowan County.

Speaking on behalf of the Shelter Guardians Board, volunteers and supporters, and every dog and cat I know, Nancy Stanback will be profoundly missed and never forgotten. And I still want to be just like her when I grow up.

Nina Dix is co-founder and president of Shelter Guardians, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting the Rowan County Animal Shelter and the animals it cares for.