There are so many things in life to be grateful for, the air we breathe, the people in our lives that care about us and the life we are given. Sometimes unfortunately, things can happen that can change our lives and the path we take. On June 17th, 2009, Casey Feldman, a 21-year-old Springfield High School Graduate and Delco native, was killed by a distracted driver while walking to her summer job at the Ocean City New Jersey shore. As you can imagine, this turned her family’s lives upside down at the loss of their beautiful beloved daughter.
After the tragic circumstance, this inspired her family to make an impact on others- so they started the Casey Feldman Foundation in honor of Casey’s passing. This organization is to provide financial support to individuals, groups and institutions whose interests and goals were the same as Casey’s.
Every year, right at the time when Casey passed, the Casey Feldman Foundation, founded by her parents, Diane Anderson and Joel Feldman, come together and chose an organization to do a day of service at a place where they feel Casey would have chosen. This year, they chose our Center, for Casey was a huge animal lover herself.
“We do a ton with distracted driving programs and that’s great, but if we could talk to Casey, she would say, ‘what about the animals?’” said Joel.
Local news station, 6abc came to see some of the amazing actions that were happening at the Center that day and interviewed with Diane about what they were doing this for.
Casey and her parents have adopted a few pets from us in the past and recently, they adopted a cat named Lilly from our new and improved Cattery.
The Casey Feldman Foundation has helped our Center by sponsoring a cat Spay Day, where we were able to offer spay/ neuters to the public for the reduced cost of only $15 per cat. They also currently sponsor a kennel in our Adoption Center.
On Sunday June 16th, the Foundation came to our Center ready to give back and ready to work. Around 30 volunteers, friends and family of Joel and Diane, came to weed the gardens, deep clean the dog pools, fix up the ‘Waggin Trail,’ cleaned our furniture and organized our food shed that holds our donated pet food for the Center’s animals as well as the food we provide to local food pantries around Delaware County.
Joel and his good friend Colin Vroome, who is an Engineer, were working on our trail where our staff and volunteers are welcome to walk dogs in a nature, more relaxed setting. They noticed there was a part of the trail where water was running and washing part of the path away, so they put their heads together and created a mini dispersal dam, using rocks and tree trucks to spread the water flow more evenly.
“Anything to help the organization,” said Colin.
We had some adoptable dogs walking around the campus visiting the volunteers while they worked on their projects. Snuggler, a younger Pit Bull Terrier, was the star of the day. Everyone enjoyed his kisses and his presence. Casey Feldman Foundation volunteers, Robin and Ruth, were using the hose to clean the dog pools, when Snuggler discovered how fun the hose can be.
“I could play with Snuggler all day long,” said Ruth.
Ruth is a good friend of Joel and Diane and has rescued Pit Bulls in the past.
Jody Hulber came out to support the Foundation and the family for their very meaningful day. She is good friends with Joel and Diane and it makes her happy to do things in honor of Casey.
“There’s nothing more heartbreaking than the loss of Casey,” said Jody.
This was her first time at our Center and we gave her and others the grand tour of all the new buildings and changes we have made. She loved our Cattery and she has eight rescue cats of her own.
Our Center is very grateful to have had them honor their daughter through our Center and the work they did for us. We are sure Casey is smiling down on her parents for the amazing work they are doing in her honor and helping the homeless pets find their places in the world.