SCARF breaks ground for animal shelter


By Patricia Speelman - pspeelman@aimmediamidwest.com



About a 100 spectators gathered to watch the groundbreaking ceremony of the county's new animal shelter on Friday. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News


SCARF board members unveil a sign advertising the new location of the new Shelby County animal shelter on Gearhart Road. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News


Lawrence Piper, middle left, with shovel, and Bob Seageant, far right, break ground on a new animal shelter on Friday. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News


Chastity Crowder, left, of Piqua, prepares to break ground on the Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center along Gearhart Road in Sidney, Friday, Nov. 18 as Eric Barr, of Sidney, right, holds Simon, a mix of a cocker spaniel and boarder collie. Crowder and Barr are both members of the board of directors of the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation, which is raising money for the shelter. Simon is one of the dogs available for adoption from the current shelter. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News


Chasity Crowder, left, pets Simon, a mix of a cocker spaniel and boarder collie, shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Shelby County Animal Shelter on Friday on Gearhart Road as the organization’s mascot Scarfy, left, looks on. Crowder is a member of SCARF’s board of directors. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News


Bob Sargeant, right, grabs a cookie following the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, Friday, along Gearhart Road. Sargeant is one of the largest donors to SCARF’s campaign for the $2.4 million animal shelter.


Bryant Billing | Aim Media Midwest

The official plans for a new animal shelter were unveiled at the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday. SCARF board member Joe Labor is kneeling behind the table. Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News


Bryant Billing | Aim Media Midwest

SIDNEY — Bob Sargeant and Lawrence Piper, two major donors to the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation’s (SCARF) capital campaign for a new animal shelter, were the first to put their ceremonial shovels into the dirt during the groundbreaking for the shelter, Friday, Nov. 17, along Gearhart Road, here — but not before SCARF vice president and Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann noted that their generosity was not the only thing they have in common.

“They’re both 92, born within a month of each other,” she told a crowd of almost 100 people who gathered for event. “They’re both World War II veterans. They served in Patton’s army.” Sargent then whispered in her ear to remind her of one other thing.

“Oh yes,” she added with a grin, “They wanted to have dirt turned for this shelter before it got dumped on them.”

Sargeant, of Sidney, and Piper, of rural Anna, had been in downtown Sidney two years ago when the fundraising campaign for the Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center began, and they were guests of honor at Friday’s groundbreaking. Sargeant had made the lead gift of $500,000 and Piper had given $300,000 to support the cat wing.

“A lot of people thought we were crazy,” Ehemann said of the time when the fund drive began. They weren’t.

SCARF has now raised 92 percent of the $2,400,000 for the facility. Ehemann announced that as of Friday, $2,207,886.27 had been donated and the group’s Race to the Finish campaign, begun earlier this month, is going strong. SCARF board member Joe Laber, of Troy, waved a white flag to signify that fundraisers are in their last lap.

“We’d love to (make the goal) by the end of the year,” Ehemann said.

After Sargeant and Piper scooped up the first of the dirt, SCARF board members, Shelby County commissioners, the sheriff, campaign workers and Scarfie, the group mascot, put on bright red hard hats and stuck their shiny silver shovels into the ground where construction will begin in the spring for the 8,100-square-foot building.

Adoptable shelter dogs dressed in construction vests that sported tiny tools assisted in digging up the ground.

SCARF President Deb Hovestreydt acknowledged local VIPs who were there, including Shelby County Commissioners Bob Guillozet and Tony Bornhorst, in addition to Ehemann; Shelby County Treasurer John Coffield; Judge Jeff Beigel; Shelby County Sheriff John Lenhart; Sidney City Mayor Mike Barhorst; and Sidney Councilmen Steve Wagner and Ed Hamaker.

Lenhart, in turn, recognized U.S. Senate candidate Mike Gibbons.

The event was opened by Laber, who thanked everyone for supporting the campaign and invited the crowd to watch Gay Smith and Karen Wise, campaign workers, unveil a sign marking the site as the future home of the shelter, where, it reads, animals will get “a new leash on life.”

Hovestreydt introduced board members and furnished some statistics about SCARF’s general operations.

“(It) was founded in July 2012 as a way to raise funds and support the Shelby County Animal Shelter,” she said. “It is with the support of the generous members of the community and the hard work of many individuals that we have spent $59,431 … and helped more than 200 pets get treatment for everything from sneezes to leg amputations. It is because of your generosity that we are all here today, taking the next step to help the neglected pets of our county.”

Laber echoed her sentiment:

“You are pawsome,” he said.

Lenhart, too, was grateful. It is sheriff’s office deputies, Kelli Ward and Joel March, who serve as shelter staff.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been more proud to be a Shelby County resident than I am today,” he said. “On behalf of the dogs and cats, thank you.”

About a 100 spectators gathered to watch the groundbreaking ceremony of the county’s new animal shelter on Friday.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/11/web1_DSC_0327_web.jpgAbout a 100 spectators gathered to watch the groundbreaking ceremony of the county’s new animal shelter on Friday.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

SCARF board members unveil a sign advertising the new location of the new Shelby County animal shelter on Gearhart Road.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/11/web1_DSC_0338_web.jpgSCARF board members unveil a sign advertising the new location of the new Shelby County animal shelter on Gearhart Road.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Lawrence Piper, middle left, with shovel, and Bob Seageant, far right, break ground on a new animal shelter on Friday.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/11/web1_DSC_0349_web.jpgLawrence Piper, middle left, with shovel, and Bob Seageant, far right, break ground on a new animal shelter on Friday.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Chastity Crowder, left, of Piqua, prepares to break ground on the Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center along Gearhart Road in Sidney, Friday, Nov. 18 as Eric Barr, of Sidney, right, holds Simon, a mix of a cocker spaniel and boarder collie. Crowder and Barr are both members of the board of directors of the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation, which is raising money for the shelter. Simon is one of the dogs available for adoption from the current shelter.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/11/web1_DSC_0363_web.jpgChastity Crowder, left, of Piqua, prepares to break ground on the Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center along Gearhart Road in Sidney, Friday, Nov. 18 as Eric Barr, of Sidney, right, holds Simon, a mix of a cocker spaniel and boarder collie. Crowder and Barr are both members of the board of directors of the Shelby County Animal Rescue Foundation, which is raising money for the shelter. Simon is one of the dogs available for adoption from the current shelter.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Chasity Crowder, left, pets Simon, a mix of a cocker spaniel and boarder collie, shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Shelby County Animal Shelter on Friday on Gearhart Road as the organization’s mascot Scarfy, left, looks on. Crowder is a member of SCARF’s board of directors.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/11/web1_DSC_0392_web.jpgChasity Crowder, left, pets Simon, a mix of a cocker spaniel and boarder collie, shortly after the groundbreaking ceremony of the Shelby County Animal Shelter on Friday on Gearhart Road as the organization’s mascot Scarfy, left, looks on. Crowder is a member of SCARF’s board of directors.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

Bob Sargeant, right, grabs a cookie following the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, Friday, along Gearhart Road. Sargeant is one of the largest donors to SCARF’s campaign for the $2.4 million animal shelter.
http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/11/web1_DSC_0404_print.jpgBob Sargeant, right, grabs a cookie following the groundbreaking ceremony of the Bob Sargeant and Family Shelby County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center, Friday, along Gearhart Road. Sargeant is one of the largest donors to SCARF’s campaign for the $2.4 million animal shelter. Bryant Billing | Aim Media Midwest

The official plans for a new animal shelter were unveiled at the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday. SCARF board member Joe Labor is kneeling behind the table.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily News

http://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2017/11/web1_DSC_0409_web.jpgThe official plans for a new animal shelter were unveiled at the groundbreaking ceremony on Friday. SCARF board member Joe Labor is kneeling behind the table.

Bryant Billing | Sidney Daily NewsBryant Billing | Aim Media Midwest

By Patricia Speelman

pspeelman@aimmediamidwest.com