Volunteers Spotlight: Rebuild Hi-Tor

The group met Tuesday night to set committee chairs


The members of the Rebuild Hi-Tor effort are ready to ramp up their fundraising efforts, and they did so at a meeting Tuesday night while discussing the various committees group members will split into.

The committees are fundraising, grants, events, political action, public relations and correspondence. At the meeting, a design and social media committee was also started. Members also volunteered to be committee chairs.

“Now that we have chairs, I’m feeling more comfortable we will populate these committees,” said Chair of Fundraising Donald Franchino.

Franchino called the night a “kickoff” for the group’s big push to fund a new animal shelter to replace the current one in Pomona.

The committee members had different reasons for joining the different committees, such as planning around their normal schedule. Suffern’s Catherine Planeta joined the grants committee and volunteered to chair it.

“I work full time, but I still wanted to help,” she said. “Because of work, I’m not really around during the day too much, so I wanted something I could do at night.”

Planeta said that at Tuesday’s meeting, after she volunteered as chair, a woman came up to her and said she was going to join the grants committee and had a lot of experience writing grants. Planeta said the plan is that after the committee is formed, she wants everyone to meet and go over each person’s experience in writing grants. She added she hopes those more experienced in grant writing, like the woman who reached out Tuesday, will help the others.

During the meeting, Franchino said they’ve found about 200 grants they want to apply for to help build a new shelter. Planeta said the committee will divvy up the grants.

Planeta said because of her business background, she feels she’s a good organizer and she can sort through the minutia to do a good job leading the committee.

She wanted to join the Rebuild Hi-Tor efforts because she feels strongly that the shelter needs to be rebuilt.

“I’ve lived in Rockland my whole life,” she said. “I remember the shelter as a kid, and it’s exactly the same now as it was back then. It needs to be updated. You can’t just keep things exactly the same.”

She also volunteers at the shelter on weekends, washing dishes and walking dogs.

“This is how I choose to spend my free time,” she said.

Claudia Rothman, of West Nyack, volunteered to be the chair of the correspondence committee because she’s retired and said she wanted to help and thought that particular committee was one she could do during the day at home in front of her computer.

The correspondence committee she said is in charge or answering emails and inquires, as well as sending out thank you’s to donors.

“Over the years, my experience has been that I feel I work better from behind the scenes,” she said. “I think I’m organized and work well on the administrative side of any project.”

Rothman said she also wanted to help the effort because she’s an animal rights supporter.

“This just seemed like a good way of giving back to this wonderful cause,” she said.

Observer October 17, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Grants? heard that was a mess and debacle for the last project he headed. good luck.
Meg Wilson November 01, 2012 at 11:37 PM
i wonder where the meeting was? i have volunteered and signed up several times to help but I have never been contacted! M. Wilson


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