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VFA celebrates 40 years with a party, and you're invited to join on May 18

By Joanne Beck
volunteers for animals
2022 File Photo of VFA member getting a snuggle from a temporary shelter occupant.
Photo by Howard Owens

This year of 2024 is a big one for Volunteers For Animals, a nonprofit that just last month received the Chamber of Commerce Special Anniversary Recognition of the Year Award and will celebrate its 40th anniversary next month.

And what better way to celebrate than with a party filled with refreshments, a special cake, activities for children, multiple door prizes, favors and a little history thrown in? It’s set for 1 to 4 p.m. May 18 at First Presbyterian Church, 300 E. Main St., Batavia. 

“It’s a chance to take the time to get together and to celebrate with each other and the community, a time to reflect on our beginnings as well as plans for the future,” volunteer and event planner Angie Knisley said. “(And to) honor those who selflessly founded the organization and remember all they had to accomplish to get us where we are today. This is not an easy story to tell. These early founders and volunteers sacrificed much to establish the VFA, a nonprofit all-volunteer humane-type society for companion animals in Genesee County.”

The Anniversary Celebration this year will also give VFA the opportunity to communicate its mission, programs and needs more fully and widely, she said, including, of course, the vital importance of having volunteers to help with varied tasks.

VFA’s mission is “to provide care, comfort and protection to companion animals in need tin Genesee County by engaging the hands, hearts and minds of our community.”

Organizers want to include all of the people who not only helped to establish the organization but who also helped to maintain and further grow it, she said. That list is quite long, as there have been folks — individually and in groups, business.

s, veterinary practices — since those early days in 1984 up to now that have provided support of time, labor, money, services and/or goods.

“We want to thank our supporters, including those businesses in the area, that have helped us through the years,” she said. “And again, the list of those who have helped through the years is vast. We are working on the best way to recognize our supporters and communicate our appreciation.

“We do not want to miss recognizing anyone,” she said. “But, we also want to respect those that would have, or may prefer, to remain in the background and not want to receive much focus/attention.”

The nonprofit rightfully received its due attention in March for the Chamber award after 40 years of volunteers serving four-legged friends' needs through Genesee County Animal Shelter. 

At the event, there will be displays about the history and people who founded VFA, information about its current programs, and photos of animals that have been adopted over the past many years.  

There won’t be any fundraisers at the event; however, “we are kindly asking for a $5 donation,” Knisley said, and children are free. Attendees are asked to register by May 10 for planning purposes so that there will be enough refreshments and cake. 

The church “has graciously and generously donated the use of the reception hall” for the party, she said, and is helping out with the event. 

VFA greatly appreciates the kindness, Knisley said. 

She hopes that the public will attend this open house party and help the volunteers mark this special occasion together. 

To RSVP, click on the QR below, contact the animal shelter at 585-343-6410 or visit 3841 W. Main Street Road, Batavia. 

VFA QR code

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