The Star-Herald

Grateful for support

December is a reflective time for those of us who volunteer at the Central Aroostook Humane Society.  We look back on the past year and realize that without the support of the 28 towns we contract with, the businesses and individuals who support our fundraisers, the many volunteers who show up to spend time helping the animals, the board of directors and our amazing employees, we just couldn’t continue to exist.

We truly appreciate and thank all the staff at The Star-Herald office in Presque Isle for providing us this space every week to keep you all up to date with what is happening at the shelter and to also provide tips on helping to keep your four-legged family members in tip-top shape.

Many of you follow our Facebook page and are kept up to date on all the wonderful happenings that take place at the shelter.  It seems like we have had dozens of missing or lost pets over the past year. It truly amazes me the outpouring of support we get from hundreds of Facebook followers who share the photos and missing pets and literally within minutes the word is out and more often than not, the pets are found and are reunited with their loving families.   

Many times throughout the year we have super generous kids who decide that they would rather have shelter donations brought to their birthday party, instead of gifts for themselves.  This is an amazing example of giving back instead of receiving. The children happily arrive loaded with gifts for all the animals, varieties of pet food, kitty litter, treats, paper towels and cleaning supplies.  Others set up lemonade stands, have church raffles or collect bottles to help raise money for the animals. These are the stories that fill our hearts.

Our board of directors are volunteers who have fun, but also work hard throughout the year with fundraisers that give us much-needed funds, but also raise awareness of what it takes to keep the shelter doors open.

Members of CrossFit Presque Isle took on a burpee challenge that raised more than $2,000 for the shelter.  Members got friends and family far and wide to sponsor each burpee they did in seven straight minutes. Pledges ranged from 10 cents up to $2 per burpee, with one local business contributing 25 cents each up to a total donation of $500.

A burpee is a full-body exercise where you begin standing then squat down and jump your feet out behind you, lowering chest and thighs to the floor before pushing back up, jumping feet in and returning to standing, finishing with a jump at the top.  

“Burpees seem easy in theory.  You basically throw yourself on the ground and get back up,” said Brad Wolverton, who has been doing CrossFit for two years. “But they burn you out so fast that it really becomes a mental challenge to keep going.  That’s why programming this workout as a fundraiser was so great. You felt like you had to keep going because it was all for a greater cause than your own fitness. The animals were counting on us.”

Twenty-five members participated at CrossFit, while two more did the workout on video while out of town.  The most burpees done by one person in the seven minutes was 105. Two other members cracked the 100-burpee mark and many others were in the 80s and 90s.  In total, the group churned out well over 2,000 of the exercises.

Donations came from as far away as Chicago and even Stuttgart, Germany. Nate Berry, one of the owners of CrossFit Presque Isle, said the group was happy to be able to help the humane society care for animals in need.  He noted that many of the members are cat and dog owners, so they loved the idea … even if they didn’t love all the burpees.

At times we are overwhelmed with the generosity of businesses, individuals and especially the young who embrace what we do here at the shelter.  We have to believe that teaching the youth to be kind, caring and compassionate individuals will help them to continue those valuable lessons in their adult life.

Being a non-profit organization, we are blessed and thankful for everything that our supporters provide. It all helps us to provide a safe, caring and loving environment for the many animals that come into our care.  From all of us at the Central Aroostook Humane Society, we wish you a very Happy, Healthy and Peaceful 2019.

Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the Board of Directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society. Hollie Gowen is a volunteer at the humane society.

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