Generosity is bringing joy to the animals being cared for at the Franklin County Humane Society.
Generosity in the form of enthusiastic volunteers and a large cash donation.
Last month, the animal shelter received a $25,000 donation in memory of Tom Wieneke, who passed away on Aug. 8, 2020.
In a note from Katherine Hartwell, Wieneke's mother, and the entire family, they wrote that “Tom repeated the saying ‘If you’re gonna run with the big dogs, you’ve got to get off the porch.’ He saw no limits, as long as it was helpful and exciting. He truly lived each and every moment.
“He was born in Greenfield, Indiana, and at a very young age he wrote his Mom a ‘running away’ letter. He told her that even though he ‘loved her and Dad, (he) wanted to see the world,’” they wrote. “At age 18 he packed his van and did just that. He landed in Tallahassee and bought his ‘little piece of paradise’ where he could feed his passion for boating, fishing, wonderful friends and community.
“After 23 years he bought property in Eastpoint, where he set up a dealership selling trucks and used cars, called Truck Link. He fit right in to the community, spending 16 years there. We have heard many stories of the hospitality Tom showed others in need.
“Another one of Tom’s passion was his love for his pets, they were his children. We feel sure that Tom would be pleased with this donation being made in his memory,” the family wrote. “Tom, we know that you had to go, but we love and miss you very much.”
At the end of last year, when the employees of the Franklin County Humane Society met for their Christmas luncheon on Dec. 16, they were surprised with gifts from Apalachicola’s Mardi Gras Krewe.
Keeping the shelter open for the county’s homeless animals has been especially difficult during the COVID-19 epidemic and members of the Mystic Krewe of Salty Barkers, a local organization that raises money to support the humane society, decided to show some appreciation to the dedicated staff. The director, Karen Martin, and her full time and part time staff members: Jessica Anders, Matt Davis, Crystal Everitt, Suzann Ray, and Brianna Rieben, each received a basket of gifts chosen with their personal interests in mind.
Since 2010, the Mardi Gras Krewe has organized the annual Barkus parade in February to support local animal groups, but the 2021 event has been cancelled in an effort to keep Franklin County residents and visitors safe.
This article originally appeared on The Apalachicola Times: Donations benefit care at animal shelter