Violet Richardson Award
Volunteer awarded for work
By: Steve Kadel
Reprinted with permission, Herald and News, Klamath Falls
Kendra Walker got her first dog, a border collie, when she was 5 years old and it jumpstarted what would become a lifelong love of animals.
Now 15, the Klamath Union High School freshman has raised several thousand dollars for the Klamath Human Society's new building through a variety of fundraising events the past few years.
She was honored Wednesday by Soroptimist International of Klamath Falls for her volunteer efforts. The group named Walker the winner of the Violet Richardson Award, and celebrated her accomplishments during a luncheon at Reames Golf and Country Club.
"Your volunteer activity is exemplary and we applaud your efforts," Kathy King of Soroptimist wrote to Walker in letter announcing the award.
The selection includes a $400 gift for Walker and an equal amount given to the Klamath Humane Society.
Walker described her attraction to man's best friend with a simple explanation. "They can help people in many ways," she said of the reason she wants to help homeless dogs. Walker says having dogs, including her current sheltie, Skye, has taught her patience and responsibility.
Walker, who also helps Double C Dog Training with its Humane Society program for homeless pets, began volunteering at age 10. that's when she spent long hours cleaning the Humane Society barn for incoming horses and cows.
Fundraising for the new shelter began is spring 2005 and walker planned a yard sale to benefit the effort. She collected donations from Double-C employees and raised $1,100 in two days. She spent the summer selling donation coupons and helped organize a Halloween costume contest.
"We took pictures and it brought in about $250," she said. "By the end of 2005, I had raised almost $2,500 for homeless pets."
A three-day rummage sale in 2006 brought in $2,277 for the venture, and she also helped organize two other events for the Humane Society
In June, Walker set a goal of $2,500 for her third rummage sale. Again, she topped her expectation by raising $3,700. Organizing a Dog Walk at Moore Park added $1,200 and photos taken at Pet Expo earned another $1,000 for the building fund.
Walker, the daughter of Double-C employee Terry Walker, wants to see a new Humane Society shelter constructed so animals housed there will have better living conditions than they do now. It will also provide an opportunity for other girls and women to volunteer, she said.
Her attitudes about animals were stated succinctly in her application for the Violet Richardson Award: "The unconditional love of pets changes lives," Walker wrote.