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Event raises money for Humane Society

It was a night to remember! Not only did Mother Nature cooperate with the weather, but all those in attendance met the challenge to make the Beatrice Humane Society’s 2018 “Paws-itively Desserts and More” one for the record books.

Last Friday’s event at Classic’s was the 16th annual dessert fundraiser, and this year’s theme was “Top Cats and Tails”. Some of the attendees took the title to heart and came in top hats, tuxedo tails, and vintage formal gowns…all adding to the ambience for the evening.

Weston Award Presentation

Following the scrumptious appetizer buffet and the beautiful dessert buffet, the prestigious Herb and Marian Weston Humanitarian Award was presented. The annual award is presented annually by the Humane Society to an individual, couple, business, or entity that contributes to the welfare of “creatures great and small.”

This year’s winners were Leigh and Marilyn Coffin. Although the Coffins moved to Beatrice only four years ago, their contributions to the Humane Society have been noteworthy.

Marilyn has volunteered at the Beatrice Animal Shelter in the office, and she has helped with the dessert event every year since she has been here. Both served on the Capital Campaign committee that raised funds to build the new shelter, and they were one of the first to make a substantial donation to the project.

They have donated to every fundraising endeavor and shelter supply drive and now sponsor the Coffin Cat Fund that has been established to help with special care and procedures for shelter cats. They have even adopted two cats from the Beatrice Animal Shelter that now call the Coffin house their “forever home”.

Congratulations, Leigh and Marilyn, and thank you from all of us associated with the Beatrice Humane Society. You are making the world a better place for creatures great and small.

…and the Big Winners Are…

The other big winners of a very big evening were the lost and homeless animals in Beatrice and all of Gage County. Thanks to the combined efforts of so many individuals, businesses, and merchants, this one event grossed over $46,000. Wow!

Of course, we still have some bills to pay, but overall this is a record-setting evening for the Beatrice Humane Society. Everything from a Bobby Kennedy photo of his 1968 visit to Charles Park in Beatrice to a signed Scott Frost football and signed helmet to three different vacation home packages added to the coffers.

Even the silent auction items went well including paw print jewelry, Husker sports posters, painted rocks with pet designs, and gift cards to a variety of restaurants and businesses. It all added up to an amazing total, and every penny of profit goes to the operating expenses of the Beatrice Animal Shelter.

Denny Henrichs and crew even made spending money a fun experience. Who else could get a bid of $600 for a dozen Sunrise donuts once a month for a year? And special thanks to Dave Norton and crew for clerking the auction and keeping track of the dollars spent.

Event sponsors were Pinnacle Bank and Security First Bank at the “Furry Friends” level, First National Bank and Jo Avery at the “Happy Tails” level, and Beatrice Animal Hospital, Oakview Veterinary Clinic, Odell State Bank, Sandman Family Foundation, and Wells Fargo at the “Pet Lovers” level. Their support is so important to the evening’s success.

A Difference Maker

So why is this one event so important to the Beatrice Humane Society? All of the money that is raised helps to support the daily operations of our Beatrice Animal Shelter. We have a small but caring and committed staff to pay. The shelter van needs gas, insurance, and periodic maintenance.

There are veterinary bills to pay and medicines and special-diet foods to buy. The shelter office is run like a business and with that, there are office supplies and equipment that are a necessity. The massive loads of laundry require detergent and bleach, and cleaning supplies are always on the “must-have” list. The needs are endless, and the work is never done when it comes to caring for these wonderful creatures.

Yes, $46,000 sounds like a lot…and it is. But it goes quickly when it comes to operating an animal shelter. That is why the annual dessert event is so crucial to the Humane Society and the facility it operates.

Thank you to all who had ANY part in making the evening a great success. Whether it was making a dessert, contributing at one of the four donor levels, donating an auction item, decorating the tables, designing the program book, or being the top bidder on any of the silent or live auction items, we thank you.

Animal lovers are special folks. You know who you are. Thank you for opening your hearts and your wallets to benefit our furry friends.

Patrick Ethridge / Photo submitted 

Beatrice Public Schools' Students of Character for the week of April 9 were (from left): Mickey Zhu, Alexa Jelinek, Morgan Mahoney, Dalton Jones, Ava Bolli, and Deegan Nelson

Arbor Day is great time to plant a tree

One of my favorite holidays is coming up, Arbor Day. As a tree enthusiast, I appreciate any holiday that urges people to plant trees. Arbor Day is always celebrated on the last Friday of April in Nebraska, this year that is April 27. This holiday is not the same throughout the United States, it is moved around for other states to be in the best planting time for the year.

Deciding what tree to plant is very important and sometimes difficult. Diversity is key when choosing your tree. The general rule is to plant no more than 10% of a tree species, no more than 20 percent of a tree genus, and no more than 30 percent of a tree family in a respective urban area. Look around at what types of trees you have and what types of trees your neighbors have before deciding on a new tree, try to avoid everyone planting the same few trees throughout the neighborhood. Look for some unique, underutilized trees such as gingko, Kentucky coffeetree, Ohio buckeye, hornbeam, paw paw, sweetgum, or tulip tree for deciduous trees that do well in southeast Nebraska.

 The most important factor to keep in mind when planting trees is how to plant a tree correctly to ensure healthy growth. First of all, remove all of the burlap and any other materials from the root ball before planting. Also remove any tags, twine, or wire from the tree. Remember to remove all the grass and weeds that are within the area you will be planting the tree. Dig a hole that is 2-3 times wider and no deeper than the root ball and loosen up the sides of the hole. Plant the tree so that root flare is at the soil surface. Do not amend the soil that is in the hole, backfill with the existing soil. Make sure that the entire root ball is covered with soil to avoid drying out.

 Keep newly planted trees well-watered. Always water newly planted trees, shrubs, or any other plant immediately after planting. Trees should be watered every 10-14 days throughout the growing season and even some during the winter on warmer days. Each watering should give the tree 1-2 inches of water. The best way to determine if a tree needs to be watered is to insert a soil probe or 12-inch-long screwdriver into the ground around the tree. If it goes in easily there is no need to water, if it is difficult at any point then water is necessary for the tree.

 A mulch ring should be established and maintained around every tree. Mulch helps to keep the roots cool in the summer and regulated to a uniform temperature through the winter. Mulch will also help keep weeds down and reduce competition from those weeds for water and nutrients. Mulch also reduces damage to the trunk of trees from lawn mowers and trimmers. Finally, organic mulch is a way to hold moisture for use later by the tree. Mulch rings should be only 2-3 inches deep and in a circle around the tree at least 2-3 feet out. Organic mulches are a better choice than inorganic mulches. This mulch will need to be renewed every year to maintain an effective layer because it will break down over the growing season which will improve the soil.

Staking a tree is not a mandatory practice. If you do have to stake the tree due to high winds, make sure that the tree has plenty of movement to allow it to build stronger roots. Also be sure that the staking material is removed after the first year to avoid the tree being damaged by the staking materials.