Meals on Wheels Rowan kicks-off third annual ‘August is for AniMEALS’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, August 8, 2021

Since 2019, Kimberly Hardiman of Hardiman Designs, Debbie Barnhardt of Barnhardt Jewelers, and Lorna Medinger of Hughes Plumbing Supply have come together to organize Meals on Wheels Rowan’s “August is for AniMEALS.” “August is for AniMEALS” is a month-long campaign and collaboration with local businesses to collect pet food and donations to support the pet companions of homebound seniors across Rowan County who receive home-delivered meals.

This year, Hardiman plans to go even bigger and hopes to raise two tons of pet food and $10,000 in donations. “We want to support the pet companions of these homebound seniors with pet food and vet care. A lot of these seniors either cannot afford to purchase the pet food they need, cannot get out to shop, or may have trouble lifting heavier bags or cans of pet food.”

This year the following local businesses across Rowan County will serve as pet food donation sites:

  • Hughes Plumbing Supply at 531 South Main St., Salisbury
  • Barnhardt Jewelers at 112 East Innes St., Salisbury
  • Dr. James K. Jolly, DDS at 1816 East Innes St., Salisbury
  • Lazy 5 Vets at 2916 South Main St., Salisbury
  • Stitchin’ Post Gifts at 104 South Main St., Salisbury
  • West Rowan Farm Home and Garden at 11575 N.C. Highway 801, Mt. Ulla
  • Hot Diggity Dog at 3665 Liberty Road, Gold Hill
  • Ace Hardware at 229 East Main St., Rockwell
  • Oxford + Lee at 103 North Main St., Salisbury
  • Rowan Animal Clinic at 4155 Statesville Blvd., Salisbury

Several of the businesses are offering special incentives to come in and donate. Hardiman Design and Barnhardt Jewelers will be offering a drawing for a personalized paw print heart pendant. At Hughes Plumbing Supply, for every $100 donation $100 value pet food donation, the donor will receive a free copy of The Everyday Cookbook by Lorna Medinger. Hughes Plumbing will also be selling $5 raffle tickets for a Milwaukee Blower. Oxford + Lee will offer a chance at a giveaway of pet accessories. For every $5 donated or bag of food, you will receive one entry.

Meals on Wheels is also bringing back “Fuzzy Buddies Fun Day” for the second year. In 2020, the event was canceled due to COVID-19. This year, they will be hosting Fuzzy Buddies in conjunction with “August is for AniMEALS.” Fuzzy Buddies Fun Day will be held on from 10-noon Saturday, Aug. 28, at Granite Lake Park. The entry fee will be a donation of pet food. The event will include pet parades and pet contests. Local pet-related vendors will be featured, as well as the Rowan County Humane Society. There will be a raffle for a grand prize basket filled with goodies for your pet, featuring items from participating vendors.

Sponsors to date of Fuzzy Buddies Fun Day include R+L Glover Construction, Gegorek and Associates Realty, Frank and Anne Saunders, Lauren and Brett Henson, Understanding Your Dog LLC, and Cheerwine. Vendors to date include Southern Stitch, H. Mae Designs, and Fur Ever Love. Pet-related vendors are invited to participate. E-mail Alexandra Fisher at afisher@mowrowan.org if interested.

Contributions will provide vouchers for rabies vaccinations, wellness checks, and grooming when needed. Currently, 75 Meals on Wheels meal recipients have pets and participate in the AniMEALS program. The pet food collected throughout August will be used to provide participants with pet food over the next six months.

Meals on Wheels Rowan Executive Director Cindy Fink, said “pet companions are especially important to our seniors. Research shows that a pet companion lessens the feelings of loneliness and isolation that many seniors feel.” Cindy added, “Kim Hardiman is a terrific organizer and passionate supporter of August is for AniMEALS. Debbie Basinger and Lorna Medinger are enthusiastic, and they team up with Kimberly to spread the word and help us involve businesses across the county. Kimberly personally solicits many of the largest contributions. Alexandra Fisher, marketing and fund development director at Meals on Wheels, supports these women and does the heavy lifting when it comes to mailings, printings, distribution and follow-up. Alexandra made it possible for our Task Group members and location partners to have August is for AniMEALS T-shirts. These women are leaders in our August is for AniMEALS and Fuzzy Buddies Fun Day efforts. We greatly appreciate the support of Kim, Debbie and Lorna. With their help, we can better support the pet companions of our Meals on Wheels participants.”

For more information about August is for AniMEALS or Fuzzy Buddies Fun Day, contact Alexandra Fisher at 704-633-0352 or afisher@mowrowan.org.

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