What started out as a dream, and a desire to help, has turned now in to a tradition.
As a younger woman, Dedham's Chrissy Doyle worked for the . Even after getting married (husband Mike), and having children ( students Gracie and Mickey), Chrissy has kept up her friendships with the staff of Dedham's animal shelter. The Doyle Family often visits the shelter, and it was there that her children developed their love of animals and their passion to help.
Last Spring, the to develop a new facility that would offer the latest in animal care and welfare, along with a pleasant environment for pet adoptions. The 27-acre Dedham site is located next to the Pine Ridge Cemetery - the oldest pet cemetery in the United States.
The total cost of the renovations is projected at $2.7 million. Of that amount, $1.5 million was committed to the facility from the Animal Rescue League Board of Directors. The remaining $1.2 million needed to come from the public. To date, some $700,000 has been collected from the donations of charitable foundations, corporations and individuals.
The Doyle family wanted to help without going around asking people for money!
After speaking with the shelter's assistant manager, Beth Finn, they were told of the continued need of blankets and towels. These linens are used to clean and bathe the animals, along with setting up cozy beds.
Chrissy Doyle presented her idea to the Oakdale Elementary School teachers, and was told that this project would fit in nicely with the children's studies at school. The Annual "Towel Drive" had begun.
Last school year, Heidi Nihill got the ball rolling. Towels and blankets were collected at school and brought to the shelter. This year, the Towel Drive became the project of Oakdale's first and third grade classes. Teachers Meghan Delong, Heidi Graceffa,
Lauren Patts, Doreen Ward, Stacey Atkinson, Linda Delendeck, Stacey Cawley and Joan Grover have turned hundreds of items over to the Doyle family to donate.
If you would like to help in any way, please mail donations to the Animal Rescue League of Dedham, 55 Anna's Place, Dedham, Ma. 02026; or call (781) 326-0729.