East Hawaii News

Generous Donors Give $1 Million for Humane Society Animal Center

March 31, 2015, 3:00 PM HST
* Updated March 31, 3:05 PM
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A generous and unexpected donation announced during the Hawai‘i Island Humane Society’s (HIHS) annual fundraising gala spurred donor contributions totaling $1 million to build an animal community center.

Part-time Hawai‘i residents Anne and John Ryan announced a $500,000 donation at the event, calling for a world with more humanity and challenging others to match their gift.

“Our relationship with Anne and John Ryan began when they volunteered to foster Bella, an injured dog who needed time to mend,” stated Donna Whitaker, executive director of the Hawaii Island Humane Society. “They have been very supportive of our mission and have closely followed our progress to build our new state-of-the-art Animal Community Center.”

After an overwhelming ovation from the audience, Vivian Dixon and John Chapple, also part-time residents, announced their own pledge of $250,000 in matching funds, spurring another standing applause and inspiring others to follow suit.

In just over half an hour, a total of $1 million was raised for the campaign through scores of additional donations.  The overwhelming response prompted guest auctioneers Adam Atwood and Pat Batchelder to request additional help in acknowledging the flood of pledges.

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“Our dream for the new Animal Community Center really took hold a few years ago when the outright purchase of our 12-acre parcel in cool, quiet, Keauhou Mauka was made possible by an anonymous gift of $800,000,” said Scott Dodd, HIHS Capital Campaign Committee Co-Chair. “Since then, we have been formulating a master plan that will transform this former quarry site into a community treasure – and raising money to fund the first phase of construction.”

Hawaii Island Humane Society Celebrates $1 Million Capital Campaign Donation (L to R): Donna Whitaker (HIHS Executive Director), Vivian Dixon & John Chapple, John & Anne Ryan, Scott Dodd (Co-Chair Capital Campaign Committee) and Barbara Kildow (Co-Chair Capital Campaign Committee). Courtesy photo.

(L to R): Donna Whitaker (HIHS Executive Director), Vivian Dixon & John Chapple, John & Anne Ryan, Scott Dodd (Co-Chair Capital Campaign Committee) and Barbara Kildow (Co-Chair Capital Campaign Committee). Courtesy photo.

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The donations will support the first phase of the Animal Community Center capital campaign, which aims to raise $3 million in funds.  Following the outpouring of donations during the HIHS gala fundraising event, the campaign has reached $2.7 million.   The flood of donations coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Hawaii Island Humane Society.

“We are 100% energized to meet our first goal in the very near future and begin planning our next phase,” said Barbara Kildow, HIHS Capital Campaign Committee Co-Chair. “Truly, the Animal Community Center will be a place of healing for animals and their people. We have already been blessed with enormous generosity and kindness.”

To find out more or to make a contribution online, visit the Hawaii Island Humane Society.

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