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Pets Alive Annual Awards

Fur Ball 2015

On June 13, 2015, we held the 6th Annual Fur Ball Masquerade at beautiful Trump National Golf Club, 339 Pine Road, Briarcliff Manor, NY. Thanks to our sponsors, donors, contributors and guest who attended – we raised $50,000 in much needed money for our sanctuaries! Check out the Fur Ball website with a recap of this exciting evening.

A highlight of the evening was our Award Ceremony. Four awards were given to very generous and special volunteers who went "above and beyond" to help Pets Alive. View this special award video created by volunteers Steve and Pia Budnick of Black Cat Photography. You can read their stories on our Fur Ball Masquerade website.

Each year, Pets Alive bestows awards to people that go "above and beyond" to help our organization or to help animals in some amazing way.

To learn more about the awards and their recipients to watch the 2015 Honoree Award Video created by dedicated volunteers Steve and Pia Budnick.

Read on for more about the significance of these awards and this year's winners.

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The Starfish Award

Each year Pets Alive bestows our "Starfish Award". The "starfish" award is so named because of an old parable:

One day, an old man was walking along a beach that was littered with thousands of starfish that had been washed ashore by the high tide. As he walked he came upon a young boy who was eagerly throwing the starfish back into the ocean, one by one.

Puzzled, the man looked at the boy and asked what he was doing. Without looking up from his task, the boy simply replied, "I'm saving these starfish, Sir."

The old man chuckled aloud, "Son, there are thousands of starfish and only one of you. What difference can you make?"

The boy picked up a starfish, gently tossed it into the water and turning to the man, said, "It made a difference to that one!"

We find great similarity between what we do and that ancient story. As a result, our most prestigious award each year is called The Starfish Award and is given to someone who understands and exhibits how each person can make an impact on the lives of animals, and how one person can impact thousands. Starfish recipients go far and above what is expected. They make a BIG impact for animals AND a BIG impact for Pets Alive.

2015 Award Winners: Dr. Joseph D'Abbraccio and The Galletti Family. Read their stories here.

Previous Starfish Award Winners:
  • Tim and Lynn Hutchinson; Bekim (2014)
  • Paul Johnson, DVM (2013)
  • John Sibley (2012)
  • Lizer Jozefovic and Sandy Mozdierz (2011)
  • Marisol and Rob Thomas (2010)

The Kameron Jacobsen Award

Kameron Jacobsen was a 14 year old boy with a very loving and gentle nature. He was kind, giving, and generous. He volunteered with his family at Pets Alive and had a special bond with animals – his compassion truly made a difference in their lives. Kameron lost his life as the result of bullying by some of his contemporaries – bullying that was so relentless Kameron felt he could no longer live in such a world. We grieve along with Kameron’s family at this horrific loss.

This award was named for Kameron and is given by Pets Alive each year to publicly recognize a youth that acts as a positive example for other young people by exhibiting empathy and kindness toward animals and selflessness in helping those animals. Just as importantly, like Kameron, the recipients of this award extend those same qualities toward people – especially peers. Like Kameron, these are young men and women that we want others to look up to.

For more information about Kameron, and this award, please read here.

2015 Award Winners: Samantha Sullivan and Baxter Martin. Read their stories here.

Previous Kameron Jacobsen Award Winners:

  • Amy Deserto and Chris Curran (2014)
  • Spencer Roveto (2013)
  • Andrew Solimeno (2012)
  • Nikki Bagley (2011)