The HolliBell Foundation was formed when Heidi Bell and Caroline Hollingworth joined together to use their baking talents in “Cupcakes for a Cause”. Heidi had formed ‘Cupcakes’ in 2014 to raise money for local animal shelters. When a call went out from Heidi in 2015 seeking bakers to help her fund raise, Caroline was quick to respond and they became baking partners for a cause close to their hearts. Both ladies come from family-run horse farms in our area and both, as it turns out, have degrees in the science field. “Cupcakes for a Cause” in that time frame raised over $24,000 with all the monies donated to support animal rescue centres in need.
(In back – Caroline Hollingworth (l) and Heidi Bell (r) with volunteers)
Several fund raising events are held throughout the year. That wasn’t enough for these two ladies, they wanted to do more. Heidi and Caroline knew so many more animals and families required their help — they had to find another way to fund raise. Hence the HolliBell Foundation doggie walk-a-thon was to be their next venture.
With both Caroline and Heidi coming from roots where horses played an important role in their lives, they had a connection with Grits Anglin. Grits is the owner and operator of Sunset Farms in Stittsville and, across Canada and beyond, is a well-known and respected judge, trainer and rider. She was “pleased to be able to offer the use of her farm for the first HolliBell Foundation doggie walk-a-thon” — an ideal venue for such an event.
Heidi was so happy with the turnout — “it is the perfect day for the animals and the walk-a-thon – not too sunny and a nice breeze is keeping the mosquitoes away”. “We have over 50 families who registered to participate in the walk-a-thon, with more arriving before the walk began,” commented Heidi. “Grits was very committed because her feral farm cat ‘Willie’ brought in the highest amount of donations for the Foundation,” laughed Heidi.
The event itself brought together vendors of dog related merchandise. There was a BBQ, silent auction, bake sale, free photo booth and each participating dog received a comfy home made bandanna to adorn their scruffs along with other treats.
Freedom Dog Rescue, www.freedomdogrescue.ca, were also on site and brought along some adoptable dogs who have been rescued or given up by their families due to extenuating circumstances. Molly the Border Collie, with personality plus, was especially sought out, but alas she has been adopted.
Caroline mentioned that the pair “want to hold another event later in the year and are looking at Halloween for another walk with the dogs in costumes”. Perhaps the owners could do so as well.
Heidi and Caroline have absolutely found an event that is close to everyone’s heart – their pets. May the success of this ‘doggie walk-a-thon’ continue for many years allowing HolliBell Foundation to fund raise and deliver their kindness to the many animals, rescue organizations and families that need their support.
If you would like to donate to this worthy cause for animals without a voice, please visit the Foundation’s page at www.hollibellfoundation.com.
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