C. J. Heilig Foundation steps up to help shelter meet
revised fundraising goal
COOPERSTOWN, NY – When the Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
(SQSPCA) launched its SHELTER US Campaign in the fall of 2018, the organization
based its preliminary fundraising goal of $2 million on renovations to the
current shelter facilities.
Since that time, the SQSPCA Board of Directors determined that – due
to the condition of the existing buildings and their presence in a flood plain –
upgrades to the facility are not feasible as originally planned. They decided
to relocate to a property on State Route 28 better suited to the organization’s
needs, not far from the current site. In order to accommodate this move and to
construct a new, state-of-the-art animal shelter and thrift store, the SHELTER
US Campaign Committee has established a revised fundraising goal of $3 million.
To date, the SHELTER US Campaign has surpassed all of its original
milestone goals. As of the close of 2018, the Campaign Committee had exceeded its
year-end target, bringing in more than $1.2 million in gifts
and multi-year pledges, and earning a nod for “Outstanding Newcomer” from the Staffworks
Fund of The Community Foundation of Herkimer & Oneida Counties, Inc.
Staffworks Fund Founder and President Anita Vitullo subsequently
pledged a matching challenge grant of $250,000 in April of 2019, which helped
the campaign gain further momentum. SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes
announced at the shelter’s groundbreaking event on Saturday, August 24 that
this challenge had been met.
Poised at the $2 million mark, SQSPCA officials explained at the
groundbreaking why additional expenses incurred in order to move the shelter
campus from its current site to a more preferable location have pushed fund-raising
requirements beyond the earlier projections.
“Our original campaign goal was based on replacement of the existing
shelter buildings with a new facility on the same parcel of land. However, when
property better suited to our needs became available, we simply could not let
the opportunity pass us by,” said SQSPCA Executive Director Stacie Haynes.
Purchase of the new property and associated demolition and
infrastructure costs are among changes in the project driving the new fund-raising
target, Haynes explained.
Stepping up to further assist the SQSPCA in its capital campaign, the
C.J. Heilig Foundation has just announced a matching challenge grant of its
own, in the amount of $100,000. From now through November 1, the foundation
will match every new donation or pledge dollar-for-dollar, up to $100,000, for
a total of $200,000 toward the $3 million campaign goal.
“I’ve been so impressed with all that I’ve seen and heard about this
project that I thought it would be great for our foundation to provide
additional incentive for donors as a follow up to the successful
groundbreaking,” said Deborah LeCates, C.J. Heilig Foundation director.
“The SQSPCA meets a critical need in protecting animals across our
communities. We’re honored to support this important mission,” LeCates added.
The SHELTER US project – buoyed by a $500,000 New York State Companion
Animal Capital Fund Grant through the Department of Agriculture and Markets –
will move the shelter and thrift store facilities 1.2 miles north of the
current location on State Route 28 between Cooperstown and Oneonta.
Workers broke ground in August, with a target date of summer 2020 for the move.
new challenge grant from our friends at the C.J. Heilig Foundation provides the
perfect opportunity for folks to get involved and double their impact. To make it
more convenient for our donors, we are also still accepting multi-year pledges
up to five years,” said Haynes.
“Now more than ever, multi-year pledges over the span of the campaign
are especially important in achieving our funding goals,” Haynes emphasized.
The new facilities will improve the daily lives of sheltered dogs and
cats by better conforming to guidelines established by the Association of
Shelter Veterinarians. Upgraded features will include two entrances separating
incoming animals from visitors and animals leaving for their new homes, a
sterile surgery suite with safe recovery area, a fresh air ventilation system
to benefit visitors as well as animals under shelter care, and more
Naming opportunities are available for gifts at levels from $5,000 to
$1,000,000, including dog runs, catios, dog walking trails, surgical suite with recovery room and the campus
Haynes pointed out that, while affiliated with the
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it is important to
note that the Susquehanna SPCA is a private, independent nonprofit organization
that receives no funds from the ASPCA.
“And while we are proud to partner with Otsego County
and work with a number of its municipalities, we have received no monetary
support from the county to date for this project or toward operating expenses,”
The SHELTER US Capital Campaign Committee, chaired by
Cooperstown resident and former Susquehanna SPCA Board member Anne Keith, will
continue to work with the SQSPCA Board of Directors and staff to secure the funds
necessary to reach the revised $3 million target.
In operation since 1917, the Susquehanna SPCA is
a 501c3 nonprofit organization committed to caring for homeless, surrendered,
and seized companion animals and finding them loving, forever homes. For more
information or to donate, visit www.sqspca.org