Bobbi Giudicelli: For the love of our animals
I have been a lifelong animal lover, and for the past 20-plus years an advocate for animal rights and welfare. So it didn’t take long before I heard about Sammie’s Friends when I moved up here 12 years ago.
I reached out to Cheryl Wicks, founder of Sammie’s Friends, and asked if she and I could meet. Cheryl and I became friends, and the rest is history. I have lived many places, and I have always had reason to visit the local animal shelters.
I have never seen a better run shelter. More than that, I have never seen the passion and commitment to all the animals of the local community that exists here in Nevada County.
Cheryl is one of a kind, and she and Curt have created an environment and an opportunity for the furry beings in need that is so far superior to anything I have witnessed.
About a year and a half ago, Cheryl asked if I would join the board of Sammie’s Friends. I was honored, and it took a five-minute conversation before my answer was a resounding “yes.”
Once on the board, when I realized we were close to celebrating the official 20th anniversary of what became Sammie’s Friends as we know it today, I insisted that I lead the effort of organizing a celebration (and fundraiser) for this milestone year. See, I had done fundraising for Sammie’s Friends through my business since I first moved up here, and then again when there was a call to arms to save the shelter from being reassigned out of the county.
What is remarkable to me is the community love and support that so many have for Sammie’s Friends and for Cheryl. This is the easiest fundraising I have ever done for anything.
The success of renewing the contract between Sammie’s and the county is another testament. In fact, the turnout when Cheryl called a town hall meeting to show the county the support of the community packed people into the Foothills Event Center like sardines and had the entire perimeter of the building packed, as well, for people who could not fit inside.
The couple of months I spent organizing our anniversary celebration before COVID-19 shut us down reinforced all of this. The feedback and donations kept flowing in. Well, we all know what the story of this past year did to celebrations and events.
We did have to postpone (we will have this celebration when it makes sense), but here is the truly amazing thing to note: For the one pandemic year that many other non-profits saw their funds dry up, Sammie’s Friends thrived. The only way to explain this is that the community loves and supports Sammie’s Friends, and Sammie’s Friends shows that love and appreciation of the community through their compassionate commitment to all of the animals of Nevada County and beyond. I have never been more proud to be a part of an organization.
Bobbi Giudicelli, moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Grass Valley in 2008. She founded and built Culture Shock Yogurt retail shops (which she sold), and wholesale distribution to Northern Cailfornia schools. She recently co-founded a healthy baked meal alternative products company named Read The Ingredients (rtifoods.com). She has four rescue dogs.
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I was a Republican for decades. The party chased me out with ideology that was good for the Republican Party but very bad for our country.