Competition nets dollars for Hope Fund, responsible pet ownership

Published 4:04 pm Tuesday, February 8, 2022

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The Claiborne Animal Shelter “Hope Fund” is in the process of gaining some much-needed dollars to cover the costs of helping animals who have been badly injured.

“The Shelter receives funding from the county and the cities,” said fundraiser director Carl Nichols. ”We also receive income from our services that we provide like spay/neuter, rabies shots and other vaccinations. The income from these sources and occasional grants and contributions cover the expense of running the shelter. However, income from these sources does not cover providing emergency services for injured, mistreated or abused animals. The Hope Fund provides vet services for animals that may have been hit by a vehicle, injured by fighting other animals, gunshots or cruelty. These animals often require major surgery, amputation, eye removal, suturing, post-surgery care and physical therapy. Most of these animals survive and become adoptable once they recover from their injuries. Without the Hope Fund, we would be unable to care for these injured animals.”

Nichols says the poster contest serves first as a fundraiser and secondly, as a novel way to shine a spotlight on the new shelter cat cottage.

Email newsletter signup

All county public and private school students in grades 1-6 were eligible for the poster contest. Sponsored by the Realty Group of New Tazewell, the theme involved expressing the importance of the new cat cottage by expressing the importance of responsible pet ownership.

The first phase of the contest netted the submission of some 1,500 posters. Nichols says he gathered together a panel of expert artists from every artistic niche to serve as judges. None of the panel knew from which school the posters had come or the name of the artist whose work they were judging.

First, second and third place winners were selected from each grade.

Third-place winners received a $25 check and a $100 laser engraved commemorative brick that will be permanently placed on the shelter memory walk. The third-place winners were TNT primary students Jace Parks, Benson Carter and Rosa Gutlerrez, Ellen Myers Elementary student Trinity Smith and Midway students Isaiah Lewis and Emma Burchett.

Second place winners were issued $50 checks and laser engraved bricks for the memory walk. Winners were TNT Primary students Avacyn Chadwell, Skyler Okeen and Leighton Goins, HY Livesay student Baylee Spradlin and SMMS student Kaylee Green.

First place winners were handed a $75 check and their own laser engraved commemorative bricks as well. Winners were Midway students Kassie Williams, Mya Riggs, Kailyn Williams and Addison VanHuss along with Heritage Christian Academy students Paxton Drummonds and Ava Cole.

The six first place winners will advance to the second phase where they will compete for the title of Grand Champion. Their competition will involve selling either the 4” x 8” or 8” x 8” commemorative bricks for $100 each or $200 each, respectively.

Each of the six contestants will receive a 10 percent commission on all moneys they have raised.

The second phase of the competition will end on March 13 at 3 p.m.

The student raising the most money will become the grand champion with his or her name announced on March 31. That person will receive a total of more than $5,000 in cash and prizes including $1,500 in cash, gift cards from Anakeesta, Fat Daddy Raceway, Knoxville Urban Air Adventure Park, Thunder Mountain Zip Line, Pine Mountain State Park Resort Restaurant, the Old Towne Grill, Walmart, Middlesboro Cinema and Woodlake Golf & Restaurant. Also included in the prize package is a $500 weekend adventure vacation at Sheltowee Trace Camping & Adventure Park, four annual memberships for the General Longstreet Civil War Museum, 25 lbs. of ground hamburger from Century Farm Meats and a $200 paver for the memory walk.

England’s Furniture is also donating a Lazy Boy chair with Lincoln Memorial University chipping in with a $2,000 tuition scholarship. Pirate’s Cove Air BnB on Norris Lake has donated a $250 vacation stay. The winner will also receive a $125 gift basket from Get Gorgeous. The Animal Shelter is donating to the winner four spay/neuters, four microchips and four vaccinations.

The grand champion will be sworn in as “County Mayor for a Day” on the Claiborne Courthouse followed by the official ribbon cutting ceremony at the Animal Shelter for the grand opening of the new cat cottage.

The following Monday, April 18, the Mayor for a Day will take over the Offices of County Mayor Joe Brooks.

“We, at the animal shelter, are proud to serve the animals and citizens of Claiborne County,” said Misti Roberts, shelter director. ”As a privately owned organization, we rely on the donations from our community to operate. Due to COVID-19 restrictions and concerns, for the past two years we have been unable to host one of our biggest fundraisers for the shelter. Now, more than ever, we need the support of our community. Donations are used for daily operations, care of each individual animal, enrichment activities and emergency services for severely injured animals.”

Virginia Caperton, president of the Claiborne County Animal Shelter Board of Directors said she would like to thank everyone for participating in this project – especially the contestants and their parents.

Nichols said he wanted to thank director of schools Dr. Linda Keck, Delynn Cline and Claiborne High principal Meredith Arnold. A special thank you goes out to county mayor Joe Brooks, Nichols says, for being kind enough to give up his seat for a day.

“It was through their assistance that we were able to successfully get through the first phase of this competition.

“One of these days we will all be gone. A member of our family will place a monument at the head of our grave and imprint something on our stone such as ‘Gone but not forgotten.’ Most likely you had no say-so about what was put on that stone. You probably would have preferred something like ‘Gosh, it is dark down here.’ So why not do yourself a favor. Memorialize yourself now when you can see and appreciate your memorial. Put on that laser engraved commemorative brick or paver what you would like to say, given the chance.”

The Claiborne County Animal Shelter opened its doors in 2010. Since that time, the nonprofit has served approximately 4,000 animals per year.