Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary thanks the local community for making 2013 and the start of 2014 a success by supporting the numerous events and fundraisers that were hosted.
Starting with the adoption center opening in March 2013, various groups and individuals were important in making this dream come true. Elaine Anderson, the sanctuary grant writer, was successful in helping Rainbow Friends procure a Petco Foundation grant to renovate Dogtown into a new and beautiful area for 12 dogs. Other responsible parties included Paxen Youth Group and Youth Challenge Academy (the demolitioneers), Larry Gallagher, Marcia Krijgsman, David Bowen and Kibby Mills (the builders and fencers), as well as Dale Crabtree (the sign guy).
Twice last year, and on April 26, Rainbow Friends and Shear Magic hosted “ShamPooch” events to raise money for other kennel improvements. There was plenty of dog washing and nail trimming, photo shoots and prizes for participating. Thanks goes to Bayfront Motors and Isemoto Contracting for the use of their space for publicity as well as numerous Hilo businesses where posters were allowed. Thank you to the Keaau Eagles for hosting Shampooch.
To help alleviate the animal population issue on this island, Rainbow Friends has hosted low-cost spay/neuter clinics on the east side since 2011. Various grants have been secured to help fund these clinics and RFAS partnered with veterinarians who are willing to do the clinics at a very low cost for their services. Rainbow Friends is now able to do a cat clinic every month and will be partnering with KARES (Kohala Animal Rescue and Education Service) to do more dog clinics within this year.
There is a group of dedicated professional volunteers who help prep, groom, apply flea treatments, clean ears, insert microchips and observe the animals during post-op until they are released to their owners. Many mahalos to Amber Forrestal, Lawrence Walsh and Shannon Lawson, three University of Hawaii students who volunteer on a regular basis. Also, Ann Anderson, her daughters, and Cheryl Ryser and her daughter have been of great help in making sure the clinics have operated smoothly, as well as Sandi Alstrand, the coordinator since the inception of RFAS clinics. Rainbow Friends is also grateful to to the Girls Scouts and Eagles, as they made it possible to host clinics at their facilities.
As the clinics continued and the end of the year approached, Rainbow Friends had yet two fundraising events to help with sanctuary expenses. A unique fundraiser happened Nov. 2 at the Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center — the first annual Lilikoi Festival in East Hawaii. The idea for the festival came from the past United Way ED Darla Deville. She shared this with Sandi Alstrand, RFAS volunteer who decided it would be a great way for the Center for Spiritual Living East Hawaii and Rainbow Friends to collaborate. She and three other women, Susan Hicks, the Rev. Cathy Hough and Bonnie Masterjohn formed the executive committee and in a whirlwind of months, with help from other volunteers, made this a very successful and delicious event. Stay tuned for the second annual East Hawaii Lilikoi Festival slated for October this year.
And, last but not least, Rainbow Friends hosted the seventh annual “Howling Holidays” event in early December. Last year’s event raised the most money ever and was a great success with photos with Santa, holiday vendors, costume contests, silent auction/lucky number drawings, and, of course, a doggy walk. Many thanks go to the HH committee members which included Cheryl Ryser, Christine Campbell, Suzie Morris, Debbie Uchida and Camille Sigmund. In addition, the Hawaiian Paradise Park Activity Center and various local businesses — too many to mention — were instrumental in publicizing and providing the space for this wonderful fundraiser. The date for this year’s event will be Dec.14.
There is no way for Rainbow Friends to list all of the wonderful people and businesses that have helped to improve the lives of many abused, neglected and homeless animals in East Hawaii.
Please be aware a big “mahalo” is meant for any and all who contributed throughout the past year. Visit www.rainbowfriends.org or call 747-6442 for more information.
Mary Rose Krijgsman
Rainbow Friends Animal Sanctuary