St. Croix Animal Friends appoints new board, plans futureOn Jan. 5, St. Croix Animal Friends appointed new members to their board of directors bringing the total to 17. The new board is starting the New Year off with an ambitious agenda: to raise enough money to build a long awaited animal shelter in St. Croix County.
By: Margaret Ontl, River Falls Journal
On Jan. 5, St. Croix Animal Friends appointed new members to their board of directors bringing the total to 17. The new board is starting the New Year off with an ambitious agenda: to raise enough money to build a long awaited animal shelter in St. Croix County.
The organization, founded in 2005 by now president Diana Neubarth, purchased six acres of land located near the southeast corner of the interchange between I-94 and Hwy. 65 just south of Roberts in 2010. This moved it another step closer to a long-time goal.
In an interview on Tuesday morning, Neubarth commented, “All I wanted to do was build a shelter. I didn’t know it would be this challenging. It’s been a dream of mine and now it is closer to a reality.”
In 2006, St. Croix Animal Friends established a board of directors and became a non-profit 501(3)(C) organization. In the years since, they have been welcoming members and volunteers. They have also started a number of programs to help both area animals and their owners.
Today, SCAF offers three services; a low cost spay/neuter program to qualifying individuals, a foster care program for animals in transition and a reaching out program designed to assist families which may have fallen on hard times with food for their pets.
The group provides a listing service on the website for lost, found and adoptable pets as well as produces a newsletter twice a year.
After purchasing the land, which is debt free, in 2011, the board of directors began planning for the next step: starting a capital campaign to build a suitable facility on the site.
To this end the group has tapped the expertise of Rob Schultz executive director of the St. Paul Police Foundation and Mo Fahnestock of Authentic Leadership Action, Inc. based in St. Paul.
Both are providing the guidance to SCAF board of directors and committee members as to what steps are needed to make a fully operational shelter a reality.
“Rob Schultz has agreed to stay on for the long haul because he feels we need this shelter and it needs to be built,” said Neubarth. “The standing committees, public-relations, research, building and fund raising are all moving along nicely. Now what we saw as a distant vision is becoming a reality.”
The St. Croix Animal Friends mission is:
Volunteers are the backbone of any non-profit organization and there are plenty of opportunities to help the mission of SCAF. For a complete list of opportunities you may visit their website, which will be listed at the end of this story.
“We would like to get as many volunteers from as many different areas as possible,” said Neubarth. “This shelter is going to belong to the people. We are going to draw people from every community who are willing to help.”
Others who serve on committees include Crystal Fetting, Bryan Thoreson, Barb Kern, Katy Guldan, Terri Richie, Dani Langer, Candice Rapley, Erin Bitter, Courtney Dobberin, Blair Hauser, Angie Fellrath and Nicole Wagner.
The next fund raising event is the Hawaiian Luau on March 31, 2012 at the Valley House with social hour beginning at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the dinner/dance may be purchased, online, by phone 714-386-4004 or presold at the Valley House. They are $25 per person. If you can’t get away this ‘winter’ pull out your tropical shirts and capris and join the fun which includes island entertainment. The evening also includes a silent auction, raffles and a hula contest. If you want to come just for the dance, $10 tickets are available at the door.
“I feel so honored that so many people have volunteered their time, expertise and funds to move us towards our goal,” said Neubarth.
For more information, to order tickets or to volunteer with the St. Croix Animal Friends Humane Society, Adoption and Education Center you may visit their website at www.stcroixanimalfriends.org.