Rebuild Hi-Tor held its volunteer meeting Tuesday night at Nanuet High School. Chair of Fundraising Donald Franchino called it a “kickoff” for the efforts push to build a new animal shelter.
At the meeting, Franchino went over the different committees and talked about the upcoming steps for the group. Members also volunteered to act as committee chairs.
“Now that we have chairs, I’m feeling more comfortable we will populate these committees,” Franchino said.
The committees are fundraising, grants, events, political action, public relations and correspondence. At the meeting, a design and social media committee was also started. Franchino said it will be up to the chairs to reach out to their committees to discuss how they will accomplish what they need to.
Franchino also said that on Wednesday, he and Hi-Tor Animal Care Center President Roberta Bangs will meet with County Executive C. Scott Vanderhoef's office to discuss leasing the land from the county to build the new shelter.
“This needs to be done,” Franchino said. “I’m not living with this for two, three years. I want to get this done, and this meeting could be a big step in doing so.”
The county exec's staff says an issue that is a roadblock is the fact that land eyed by volunteers is park land, which cannot be built upon.
Another reason the meeting is a big deal is for donations.
“We have a lot of fence-sitters,” Franchino said. “People don’t want to give money to something they’re not sure is going to happen. If the meeting goes well, it could give us some real progress to take to people.”
During Tuesday’s meeting, Franchino said the group has raised about $21,000 through donations. There is a large group of people and organizations who said they will donate but have yet to. From that group, Franchino estimates another $200,000 would be donated.
“No one’s going to donate $50,000 or whatever if they think there’s a chance what they’re donating to is not going to happen,” Franchino said.
The group has some plans coming up for fundraising. They’re asking volunteers to ask businesses to put collection buckets in their businesses. Franchino said they’ve already started and so far it’s worked well.
“We ideally want to have somewhere between 800 and 1,000 out there,” he said.
He also told the volunteers to report back any business that agrees to put out a bucket, so they can list that business on their site.
Volunteers have also had a table at the Palisades Mall each Saturday and Sunday since September. They are located either on the third floor near the Disney Store or on the first floor near the customer services table. The group will also have a table at the mall on the day following Thanksgiving.
On Oct. 15, Chilis in Nanuet will donate 10 percent of their sales that night for people who say they’re there for Hi Tor to the rebuild effort. On Sunday Oct. 28, the group will host a three-mile run/walk on the grounds where the new shelter would go.
Franchino said they also plan on having a carnival in the spring.
“Hopefully that will just be the icing on the cake at that point,” he said.
Someone brought up the idea of having a golf outing in the spring as well, and Franchino said if they can find an experienced volunteer to chair the event, they’ll hold that as well.
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