Two long-time Gwinn residents and UPAWS supporters, Philip and Ruth Spade, left behind their estate of $1.6 million to be split equally between Gwinn Area Community Schools and the Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter. UPAWS will use their half of the donation as a start toward funding the construction of UPAWS new shelter.
Reva Laituri, the UPAWS board president, said, “The Spades have been very generous to us for at least 25 years, and when they passed, we thought the animals lost a good friend. The Spades have adopted pets from us, and we know how much their pets meant to them. Ruth and Phil Spade were kennel sponsors for years, regular donors and members. They were passionate about helping the homeless animals. Their dogs Toto and BeeGee were cherished family members.”
This donation is an excellent start toward funding the construction or UPAWS new shelter. Board members said the money will take care of a lot of preliminary costs, such as creating architectural plans.
“It’s exciting, and kind of gets us rejuvenated again because buildings can be expensive and this is just a head start on it,” said UPAWS Board President Reva Laituri.
“I don’t even know if there are enough words to say even what it means to the animals,” said UPAWS Board President Reva Laituri, “because it’s a legacy that they are leaving that’s going to benefit thousands of animals.
PHOTO: From WLUCTV6 website