Toulon residents Fulvio Zerla and wife Deb Franklin have established a $10,000 challenge match to benefit the Kewanee animal shelter of the Henry County Humane Society. They have been joined in this by another $10,000 challenge from Ed and Pat Peterson, of Neponset.
The goal is to raise a total of $40,000 for the financially strapped “no-kill” shelter, which each year takes care of hundreds of dogs and cats, providing rescue pets for many Stark County residents.
For every dollar contributed by area residents by October 31, the Zerlas and Petersons will provide a dollar-for-dollar match up to $20,000.
Contributions should be made out to the Henry County Humane Society and sent to P.O. Box 695, Kewanee 61443. Please note on the check that it is for the challenge.
Fulvio and Deb have been supporting the animal shelter for years and have benefited from the devotion of two dogs they have received from the shelter.
“Deb and I have been active with the shelter for years,” Fulvio told The News, “but we didn’t realize until recent years how close this wonderful facility has come to being closed by the IRS and other creditors for lack of payment of monies owed.”
At a recent dinner for major donors to the Humane Society hosted by the Zerlas, Fulvio chatted at length with Ed Peterson, who built Martin Engineering in Neponset into a major business.
The two businessmen decided that if they stepped up in a big way with their challenge, they and other donors might be able not only to lift the shelter out of its budgetary problems, but also begin a fund to build a new shelter.
Shelter is temporary home for scores of animals
During 2014, the animal shelter took in 80 dogs (76 of which were later adopted) and 89 cats (73 adopted).
The animal shelter receives some financial support from adoptions and bequests and the City of Kewanee reimburses the shelter for the expenses of operating the city pound, but it is far from enough to cover the costs.
The News did a story on the shelter a couple of years ago and during our visit we found that shelter manager Kellie Wallace-McKenna and others do a marvelous job of providing great support for the animals in their care.