Stetson University presented this year’s Greenfeather Grant for $19,516.81 to My Angel With Paws last month, raising almost twice its goal for a local nonprofit that trains dogs to help people with disabilities.
“Holy cow,” exclaimed Sarah Townsend, executive director of My Angel With Paws, when she opened up the check Friday afternoon at Stetson University’s Donor Relations House.
My Angel With Paws brought its service dogs to Friday’s event, including Palmer, the Greenfeather puppy.
Greenfeather is an annual tradition during Stetson’s Homecoming in which teams of students compete to win the most points during activities and fundraising.
The goal was to raise $10,000 for the Greenfeather grant, and organizers said this year might be the most ever raised.
Since its start as an autumn carnival in 1952, the competition has allowed teams of students and faculty to help raise upward of $10,000 for local charities in and around DeLand.
My Angel With Paws will use the money to “feed the dogs, take care of them, vet bills and do some final finishing touches on our training center because it was flooded during Hurricane Irma,” Townsend said. “We still have a few things that need to be done. So, this is going to go a long way.”
“And put in handicapped parking,” added Marilyn Kudlets, board president of My Angel With Paws.
Townsend hugged Greenfeather Vice President Bianca Perito, a senior, after opening the check for the grant.
They gathered with their service dogs and Stetson students and staff Dec. 14 as Perito presented the check. The students kept the final grant award a secret to surprise the nonprofit.
In addition to the grant, Stetson faculty, staff and students also donated enough dog food and pet supplies to fill six large plastic bins, said Rebecca Thomas, Greenfeather adviser and assistant director of sustainable giving.
The winning Greenfeather team, Pi Kappa Alpha and Zeta Tau Alpha, had the honor of naming the Greenfeather puppy.
They chose “Palmer” after Palm Court, the quad surrounding the iconic fountain on the Stetson campus. The black Labrador retriever attended the grant award event.
Just six weeks after the Greenfeather competition, Palmer already weighs 40 pounds.
— This story was originally published by Stetson Today. For more news and happenings at Stetson University, visit www.Stetson.edu/Today.