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Neighbors of Kane County

Anderson Animal Shelter honors local residents and organizations during “A Night To Paws” annual fundraising gala

Nov 08, 2016 09:42AM ● By Neighbors Magazines

Anderson’s adoptable dogs and puppies regularly visit children at Mooseheart Child City & School – offering positive benefits for both kids and pets.

Anderson Animal Shelter is recognizing several local companies, organizations and residents for their dedication, support and commitment to the shelter and the welfare of its adoptable animals. 

Five awards are being presented during the shelter’s “A Night to Paws” Gala Dinner and Auction on Saturday, Nov. 12, from 5-10pm at the Q Center in St. Charles. It’s the largest annual fundraising event for Anderson, which marks its 50th anniversary of saving lives and serving the Fox Valley.

“It takes a community of dedicated companies, organizations and individuals to help Anderson achieve its mission of improving the lives of pets and people through service, education and advocacy,” said Beth Drake, executive director of Anderson Animal Shelter. “That’s why we’re honored to present five awards that celebrate and recognize those who go above and beyond to help us care for and save more animals each year.” 

The award winners are:

  • Community Champion Award: Mooseheart Child City & School. This award is given to an individual, group or business that has demonstrated a commitment to the shelter and its cause in the community. Mooseheart Child City & School, which provides a home environment for more than 200 children on its campus in Mooseheart, Ill., has partnered with Anderson since 2015. Anderson received scholarship grants from various community foundations and reached out to Mooseheart to invite their children to attend programs at the shelter, including the summer Critter Camp. Due to the positive impact on the behavior and emotional well-being of the kids, Anderson then created a weekly program allowing the children to interact with adoptable animals. In addition, in September, Mooseheart generously offered its facility for Anderson to host its second annual Pets-A-Palooza community festival. “Anderson Animal Shelter brings our children joy as well as therapeutic value, and they do this all on their own because they love and support our mission of providing for children in need,” said Gary Urwiler, executive director of Mooseheart Child City & School. “The service they provide the communities, not only Mooseheart, is valuable and most of all warm and friendly.”    
  •  Community Partner Award: Imaging4Pets. This award is given to an individual, group or business that is new to the shelter or community, and provides support or services that might not otherwise be available to Anderson. Imaging4Pets, which offers mobile ultrasound veterinary services in the Chicagoland area, performs all ultrasounds, including echocardiograms, at no charge for the shelter’s adoptable animals needing these medical tests.  
  • Corporate Partner Award: ComEd. The Corporate Partner Award is presented to a business that positively impacts the shelter by providing support, service, expertise or other resources. ComEd and its corporate partners donated mulch that they placed on the walking trail on the shelter’s property. Shelter staff and volunteers use the trail to walk the adoptable dogs, providing positive training and exercise.
  • Friends of the Animals Award: Kelly Spong and Gail Yohnke. The Friends of the Animals Award is given to individuals who demonstrate a shared mission, vision or enthusiasm for companion animals by offering time, expertise or other resources. Kelly Spong of St. Charles started volunteering at Anderson in 2015. With her professional background in public relations, Spong helps the shelter with marketing communications, including content development, social media, event support and special outreach efforts or campaigns like Adopt-A-Cat Month. She also writes online and in-shelter bios for adoptable cats, helping share each feline’s story with potential families. Gail Yohnke of Elgin has been volunteering for a number of years.  Gail has always had a love for animals and after retiring as a senior administrative assistant she wanted to dedicate time by giving back to her community.  Yohnke spends her time working with the canines, assisting with administrative needs and helps to coordinate the arrival of animal transports.  
  •  Founders Award: TechPro. As the shelter’s highest honor, the Founders Award recognizes an individual or organization for its outstanding commitment and ongoing support of the shelter. TechPro, a full-service IT support and creative services company based in St. Charles, has made a substantial, year-after-year impact for the shelter. The company handles all of Anderson’s technology needs, ensuring everything is working smoothly for staff to manage and track thousands of animals, as well as operate and communicate efficiently. 

About the Annual Fundraising Gala – How to Support the Shelter

In addition to the awards presentation, the annual fundraising gala features live entertainment, including the St. Charles Singers and the John Avila Trio; a cocktail hour and a multi-course dinner; and a live and silent auction with hundreds of items. Several Anderson adoptable dogs and puppies are also expected to make a guest appearance. Tickets are available to the public. Tickets are $150 each or $1,500 for a table of 10. Visit or call Anderson’s Development Department at 847-697-2880 x31.

Special thanks to the shelter’s sponsors and advertisers including: A to Z Rental of Elgin, A Sound Beginning, Abby’s Breakfast & Lunch, Animal Medical Clinic of St. Charles, Citizen’s Finance, Elburn Animal Hospital, First Secure Community Bank, Gordon Flesch, Graham’s Chocolates, Hagg Press, Heinz Brothers Greenhouse, Illinois Firearms & Ammunition, Jones, Lemon & Graham, LLC, JMF Events, Keith French Photography, Nova Communications, Realtors to the Rescue, Sayre & Jones, The Q Center, and Wintrust Mortgage.