Summer strut benefits shelter
By Denise Baran-Unland For the Herald-News June 18, 2012 2:10PM
Updated: July 20, 2012 6:13AM
Despite the 90 degree temperatures, 50 people and 25 dogs turned out for the Will County Humane Society’s 2012 Struttin’ for Strays 5K walk and raised $3,500 to help with general shelter expenses.
Shelter manager Larry Ringbauer, wearing the characteristic yellow volunteer shirt, was there, too, smiling and mingling with the supporters.
“It turned out to be a pretty nice day,” Ringbauer said.
The event began at 9 a.m. with registration, followed by a 15-minute warm-up 45 minutes later. The 5K walk began promptly at 10 a.m. Walkers began returning an hour later; the post-walk party was in full swing 30 minutes later.
Despite the heat, Kim Lake, coordinator of the event for the Shorewood shelter, was pleased with both the turn- out and the money raised. Last year, Struttin’ for Strays was held on a rainy, 45-degree day.
With bittersweet remembrance, Lake recalled how Brittany Pirc of Elwood had participated last year with the human and canine members of her dog-walking business. The walkers had donned red T-shirts signifying their group; the dogs had worn matching kerchiefs. Pirc is still suffering from injuries from a March car accident.
“My daughter and I fundraised in her name,” Lake said, “so we’ll be bringing her a T-shirt. She’s really inspired us.”
Everyone who raised at least $100 received a Struttin for Strays T-shirt, Lake added.
Sharon Morgan, leader of cadette Girl Scout Troop 70251, which meets at Elwood Community Consolidated School District 203 school, attended Struttin’ for Strays with three of her six scouts.
For the last several years, the troop, as part of their silver award requirements, which requires at least 40 hours of community service, has supported the Will County Humane Society by donating pet supplies through various collection boxes set up in the community. The task, however, has been a labor of love.
“All the girls have pets,” Morgan said.
Also present and working that day was one of the shelter’s newest volunteers, dog walker and member of the fundraising committee, Caroline Krause of Joliet. Because Krause works out of town, she owns three cats instead of dogs, because cats require less care, so she transfers her love of dogs to the ones at the shelter.
“I love being around the dogs. They help me forget about all my stress,” Krause said. “Dogs basically need just three things — food, shelter and petting — to be content.”
The top three fundraisers received a spa package and some cosmetics. These were Tracy Bianco of Channahon (the top fundraiser two years in a row), $708; Caroline Wood, $305; and Kathy Simon of Joliet, $265.
Lake said the Will County Humane Society has a 40-plus year history of providing a safe, temporary home for otherwise homeless pets, while diligently seeking permanent adoption arrangements for them.
The shelter, which cares for 40 dogs and 100 cats, receives no federal or local funds to operate the facility; instead, it relies on donations and proceeds from fundraisers such as Struttin’ for Strays.
The $3,500 raised will go into the shelter’s generation fund. That means the money might be used for general health care, food and general upkeep of the animals.
For more information about the Will County Humane Society, call 815-741-0695 or visit www.willcountyhumane.com.