The sun was beaming off the frozen Skaneateles Lake Saturday afternoon as we poked in and out of shops and cafes along the main street of the village. A hint of spring put a smile on the face of even the most winter weary lifelong Central New Yorkers. We pushed and pulled on door after door activating the old fashioned jingle of bells that alert the store owner a customer has entered. My wife Jamie and I were visiting merchants to ask for their support of the Shamrock Animal Fund.
Several of the businesses have previously donated items or gift certificates for our silent auction at our annual Shamrock's Celebration benefit. But, many have not been asked before. After several hours of talking about business, pets and the work of the Shamrock Animal Fund we walked away carrying so many shopping bags one guy offered his sympathy as if we had just run up a giant credit card bill. No big bill, just big hearts willing to help a volunteer not-for-profit making a difference in our community.
The example was repeated over and over. Previous donors to Shamrock's Celebration knew why we had walked through the door. They offered kind words about the work of the fund and the important role pets playing our our culture. They then wrote out a fresh gift certificate or picked out a unique item that would catch the eye of the 300 guests expected at Shamrock's Celebration.
Then there are the new donors. Take Reg Grant for example. He is a bench jeweler who owns Grant Jewelers on the lake side of Genesee Street. What an accomplished artist and kind man. He came out from the back room with his magnifying jewelers glasses tilted back on his head. His rosy cheeks, warm smile and red beard on his chin remind you of his home state of Maine.
It turns out this dog lover fairly recently lost his longtime companion. Reg understands the joy and heartache of pet ownership. Within minutes he offered to donate a hand crafted silver and amethyst pendant. It is a one of a kind and will be a treasure for a silent auction bidder on March 22nd.
The act of kindness has been repeated many times over as we prepare for our 5th annual Shamrock's Celebration. We know that businesses are asked frequently to donate to various causes. We appreciate those who chose to donate to the Shamrock Animal Fund. On that beautiful Central New York afternoon it was heart warming to meet so many community members willing to do their part.
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