"Sunny Day at the Beach" hopefully will brighten things for local animals in need.
That was the theme of the Jefferson County Animal Welfare League's annual fundraiser held July 14 at St. Florian Hall in Wintersville, an occasion to eat well and go home with a door prize, guaranteed because there were enough for everybody and then some.
There also was a shot at a 50-50 drawing, a staple at most any local fundraiser you go to these days.
Official greeters were representatives of The Place for Dance, including, from left, front, Gracie Jackson, Riley Hubbard, Malaina McDonald, Addie Long and Brooke Border, and back, Olivia Reese, Rileigh Gualtierre, Katie Selai, Peyton Osso, Shannon Westfall and Madisyn Medley.
-- Janice R. Kiaski
Greeting event-goers were beach-adorned young ladies, representing The Place for Dance and including Gracie Jackson, Riley Hubbard, Malaina McDonald, Addie Long, Brooke Border, Olivia Reese, Rileigh Gualtierre, Katie Selai, Peyton Osso, Shannon Westfall and Madisyn Medley.
Janet Polverini, AWL program director and fundraiser chairperson, welcomed those in attendance with the invocation given by Joan "Bunky" Tindor.
"I sincerely prayed before I asked each sponsor for their donation, and the results were extraordinary," Polverini told me, expressing appreciation for the generosity of those with a heart for animals' well being.
"All of our sponsors are extraordinary people who genuinely care about our Jefferson County animals. They all have the courage, conviction, loyalty and passion to contribute to our voiceless animals," Polverini noted.
"I truly believe in my heart you're either part of a problem or part of the solution," she said.
"If you turn an animal away or you drop them off on roads, you are creating the problem. You should be trying to solve that problem and get the help that that animal needs because, you see, they were created, too, to serve others," Polverini said.
She reiterated words printed in the bulletin - a bulletin listing numerous pages of sponsors, from individuals to organizations to businesses.
"Never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well being of a person or an animal is at stake. Society's punishment is small compared to the wounds we inflict on our own souls when we look the other way," she said.
The door prizes, by the way, included a table of prizes just for kids. And there was a reason.
"It's to teach children the care of animals and, most importantly, to teach children that in learning and helping animals, it's a great blessing because the animals of today are all over the world and the animals today help our military and handicapped and they're (visiting) in nursing homes, and it's just wonderful," Polverini said.
The Jefferson County Animal Welfare League was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 1974. Thousands of animals have been spayed and neutered during its decades of existence.
There's a need for spaying and neutering all year-long, according to Polverini, who said tax-deductible contributions can be made any time by making checks payable to the JCAWL and mailing them to Arlene MacQuown, treasurer, 129 Meadow Road, Wintersville, OH 43953
In keeping with the beach theme, there were fish favors made by Kim MacQuown Hohlmayer.
And Marnee Muhleman of the Steubenville Art Association put her artistic talents to use, creating a shark fruit serving bowl out of a watermelon. Cute!
In addition to Polverini, league officers are Donna Hagerty, president; Doris Peyton, vice president; Laura Luzader, secretary; and Arlene MacQuown, treasurer.