Animal Lover Selected as 2008 Community Leader

Ilene Wellner of Philadelphia celebrated ASPCA Day on April 10 in the most creative way.

On April 10, ASPCA Day, Ilene Wellner encouraged her neighbors to “Go Orange for Animals” by organizing and executing a bake sale and a bagel benefit, raising funds for the ASPCA, Pennsylvania SPCA, Main Line Animal Rescue, Paws/PACCA, and the Delaware County SPCA. She also distributed ASPCA bookmarks and posters to children, and urged residents to make donations of much-needed supplies and funds to local shelters. Her fundraising activities captured the attention of local media outlets, including WCAU-TV, which covered her festivities.

For her efforts, the ASPCA selected Wellner as its Community Leader of 2008. Wellner showed the most creative efforts to celebrate ASPCA Day, the anniversary of the organization’s founding.

“The Community Leader Contest was designed to acknowledge the countless people across the country who support our mission each and every day with passion, creativity, and drive,” said Ed Sayres, ASPCA president and CEO. “Each entry we received showed a great passion for increasing awareness of the humane treatment of animals. However, we felt that Ilene’s community-focused approach deserved special recognition, since it’s a great example of how small steps can effect great change.”

As the Community Leader of 2008, Wellner and a guest will receive a three-day-two-night trip to New York City to tour the ASPCA shelter, courtesy of Iams pet food. Wellner and her guest will meet Sayres and the ASPCA’s humane law enforcement officers.

“Winning the ASPCA’s 2008 Community Leader contest is a huge thrill for me,” Wellner said. “I want to inspire people of all ages to look within themselves and ask how they can make a difference, because giving really is getting.”

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