My Friend, Casey – How the Foundation Has Honored Her Love of Animals

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014
Casey & Nikki, 2008

Casey & Nikki, 2008

Casey's brother Brett & his friends painting - Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2010

Casey’s brother Brett & his friends painting – Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2010

Casey's friends insulating the attic at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2011

Casey’s friends insulating the attic at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, 2011

A stroke victim at Magee working on his motor skills as he brushes Joey's teeth

A stroke victim at Magee working on his motor skills as he brushes Joey’s teeth, 2014

Jenna Schein (R) helping an injured screech owl at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary

Jenna Schein (R) helping an injured screech owl at Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary, 2014

By Rachael Kemmey*

On the day of Casey’s fifth “angelversary,” a friend said to me, “I can’t believe it’s already been five years, can you?” My answer, although contradictory, was both yes and no. Yes, it is unfathomable that one thousand nine hundred and seventy-seven days have passed since the last time I saw my friend. How have five years already come and gone without her here? Yet, at the same time, it feels like a lifetime since I’ve seen Casey. Every day without her feels long. I was at a loss trying to explain how time could move both fast and slow; perhaps, there is no way to understand this feeling, unless you were blessed with knowing Casey.

Five is also the number of years that Casey’s family and friends have been working to make a difference through The Casey Feldman Foundation. The Foundation honors Casey’s life and memory by keeping Casey’s passion for helping others alive and by supporting many causes that were near and dear to Casey’s heart. One of those is her unconditional love for animals.

Growing up, Casey had numerous pets; everything from chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs and horses, to fish, lizards, hermit crabs and turtles. Of course, there were also dogs and cats. The Feldman family always had one dog and usually four cats at a time, all rescues. Casey was a proud member of PETA, among various other organizations, and was a strong advocate for adoption of strays. While studying at Fordham University in New York City, Casey volunteered at Animal Haven, a no-kill shelter. Casey walked the dogs and simply spent time with them as well as with the cats, assisting in their socialization and making them feel comfortable and loved.

It is gratifying to look back over the last five years and see how The Casey Feldman Foundation, among its multitude of endeavors, has also sought to honor Casey’s love of animals.

Every year on Casey’s “angelversary,” the Foundation conducts a day of service; every day of service over the last five years has incorporated animals. On the first “angelversary,” approximately forty volunteers worked at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, a no-kill shelter located in Radnor, Pennsylvania. The entire interior of the shelter was painted in the course of a day. The following year, volunteers returned to Francisvale and worked on building a new outdoor play area for the dogs, cleaning up the grounds and insulating the attic. The last three “angelversaries” were spent at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where the Foundation established the first Facility Dog Program in 2012. Joey, a Labrador Retriever and Ford, a Golden Retriever were sponsored by the Foundation. Ford and Joey are specially trained health and human services “professionals” who support patients in their therapy and facilitate the rehabilitation process (watch the TV news video below).

In addition to incorporating animals into the annual day of service, the Foundation also directly supports local shelters through grants. Most recently, the Foundation sponsored the Casey Feldman Foundation Spay and Neuter Day at Main Line Animal Rescue (MLAR). As a result, five animals were neutered, a procedure which drastically cuts down on the number of animals euthanized in the United States each year. In addition, the Foundation also sponsored Helga at MLAR, a German Shepard who had spent the previous 5 years of her life in a hutch at a puppy mill and was in desperate need of medical care; she was a “spinner” as a result of her confinement and had tried to rip off her own tail. The Foundation’s grant saved Helga’s life. In order to help MLAR with their training program, the Foundation also donated funds for the “Casey Cam.” Since its installation, the camera has provided trainers with an opportunity to track each animal’s progress.

Spay/Neuter Day at MLAR

Dr. Meg Anderson (R) and her assistant, Spay/Neuter Day at MLAR, 2014

In addition, various scholarship programs that the Foundation has funded have benefited animals. Our 2012 PIIE recipient, Dylan Mark, interned for the summer at the Boulder Valley Humane Society. Computer science major Lauren McDermott from Villanova University received a stipend to provide much needed IT services to Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, revamping and updating their website in 2011. Our Alternative Spring Break program has also impacted animals – Erica Durbin spent her spring break volunteering at Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary in 2011 and this past spring,  Jennah Schein volunteered her week off working at  Possumwood Acres Wildlife Sanctuary in NC. Of course, all the various Alternative Spring Break scholarship recipients who spent their week working in some form of environmental conservation all had a positive impact on wildlife.

In the upcoming years, the Foundation looks forward to continuing to honor Casey’s love of animals through supporting existing programs  and establishing new ones.

Please help us to continue our good work and donate to the Casey Feldman Foundation. All of our furry friends out there will be deeply indebted for your your support.

Watch the CBS Philadelphia news video about the Foundation’s sponsorship of Magee’s first facility therapy dog, Ford, 2012:

View the video from the 2013 Day of Service:

Related Links:

All Foundation news articles related to our efforts to honor Casey’s love of animals – includes photos, videos, media coverage, links, etc.

All photos from the annual July 17th “Angelversary” Day of Service, 2010 – 2014

A listing of all scholarships and grants from 2010 – 2014,  with links,

All Foundation articles regarding scholarships, grants and recipients

 

_______________________________________________

Rachael (R) & Casey

Rachael (R) & Casey

*Rachael Kemmey grew up with Casey in Springfield, PA and remained one of Casey’s best friends. Rachael is currently an attorney practicing in Delaware County, PA.

July 17, 2011 Day of Service and Remembrance

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

L to R: Riley Vroome, Alice McGovern and Renee, Ricky and Maddy Liss were part of the group cleaning the grounds

For the second year in a row, friends and family sought to honor Casey Feldman’s life and memory on the anniversary of her death by volunteering together at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, a no-kill animal shelter in Radnor, Pa. Established in 1897 and incorporated in 1902, Francisvale is thought to be the oldest no-kill animal shelter in the nation. Casey was 21 years old when she was struck and killed two years ago in Ocean City, New Jersey while walking to a summer job on the boardwalk.

L to R: Phil Knasiak, Ryan Gellar, Dan Smisko and Matt Grace insulating the attic

Some 35 individuals spent their time insulating an attic, preparing the grounds for an upcoming doggie play area as well as for a memorial garden, painting a settee and chairs, cleaning the interior of the shelter and breaking down an old sofa and placing it in a dumpster.

Casey's brother, Brett's friends chose to honor Casey. L to R: Jason Spector, Stephen Kennedy, Ryan Gellar and Bob Gibson

A lunch time tribute  at Francisvale was made to Casey with Casey’s mother, Dianne Anderson, reminiscing about Casey’s love for animals and support of animal rescue and no kill shelters. Casey was an animal lover, having everything from chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, lizards, fish, turtles, and of course, cats and dogs while growing up. She was a big advocate of adoption and all of the household pets were strays and adoptees in need of a home. Even the chickens were left over from the local 4-H. The family German Shepards all came from German Shepard Rescue of Southeastern Pa, which included a beautiful tribute to Casey in their Summer 2009 Newsletter.

Casey's Springfield friends L to R: Melissa Zirolli, Jackie Cahill, Kaitlyn Carullo and Rachael Kemmey at the shelter

Casey missed the family cats and dog while away at college and made time to volunteer at a no-kill shelter, Animal Haven, in NYC where she would love up the kitties and walk the dogs. The first puppy received by Animal Haven after Casey’s death was named “Casey” in her honor.

At the evening reception, pink balloons were released into the sky with lots of love for Casey

Jodi Button, Francisvale’s Executive Director, expressed the shelter’s tremendous gratitude to all of the volunteers for their hard work and completion of much needed jobs at the shelter, “The work accomplished in Casey’s name has made all the difference in the world… It seems like such a wonderful testament to Casey’s life that she would have so many fabulous people willing to roll up their sleeves on a hot summer’s day to offer the precious gift of time and goodwill. We were all taken by the spirit of generosity and kindness that marked the event.”

Some 40 volunteers offered their services last year at Francisvale on the first anniversary of Casey’s death. Within an approximate 6 hour period, the entire interior of the facility was painted. Additional service included feeding the homeless in Philadelphia, making and serving dinners at the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago, cleaning up the parks in Springfield, PA and volunteering at Beacon Animal Shelter in Ocean View, N.J.

Likewise this year, friends and extended family outside of the area offered contributed time and much needed supplies to their local animal shelters, while others donated blood to the Red Cross.

The day concluded with an evening reception at the Feldman home. At dusk, with the background of some 19,000 pink lights twinkling in the background from the Casey tree, some 50 pink balloons were released into the sky accompanied by lots of love for Casey.

[View the photos from the day.]

Related Posts & Links:

Photos – July 17, 2011 Day of and Service and Remembrance

A Day of Service and Remembrance on Casey’s First “Angelversary” –  July 17, 2010

Photos – July 17, 2010 Service and Reception

Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals

German Shepard Rescue (GSR) of Southeastern PA

GSR Tribute to Casey

Animal Haven – NYC

July 17, 2011 Day of Service Scheduled for Casey Feldman’s “Angelversary”

Saturday, July 9th, 2011

Casey and Nikki at Ridley Creek State Park in Oct. 2008

To honor Casey Feldman’s memory, another day of service has been scheduled for Casey’s second “angelversary” on Sunday, July 17th. Locally, service will take place again at Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals, a nonprofit no-kill animal shelter in Radnor, Pa. Volunteers will work from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. with service ranging from insulating an attic, working on a new outdoor doggie play area and indoor administrative tasks, for those preferring an air conditioned environment. Lunch will be provided, as will optional tours of the shelter.

Casey's brother, Brett (front), with Bob Gibson, Stephen Kennedy and Jason Spector painting at Francisvale last July 17th

Casey was an animal lover, having everything from chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, lizards, fish, turtles, and of course, cats and dogs while growing up. She was a big advocate of adoption and all of the household pets were strays and adoptees in need of a home. Even the chickens were left over from the local 4-H. The family German Shepards all came from German Shepard Rescue of Southeastern Pa, which included a beautiful tribute to Casey in their Summer 2009 Newsletter.

The Ceffaratti family wore their pink "I Brake for Pedestrians" shirts as they fed the homesless in Philadelphia last July 17th

Casey missed the family cats and dog while away at college and made time to volunteer at a no-kill shelter, Animal Haven, in NYC where she would love up the kitties and walk the dogs. The first puppy received by Animal Haven after Casey’s death was named “Casey” in her honor.

Casey & her Cousin Chris' dog Sasha in 2007

Some 40 volunteers offered their services last year at Francisvale on the first anniversary of Casey’s death. Within an approximate 6 hour period, the entire interior of the facility was painted. Friends and family agreed that it was a fun a fitting tribute to Casey’s life and memory. Additional service included feeding the homeless in Philadelphia, making and serving dinners at the Ronald McDonald House in Chicago, cleaning up the parks in Springfield, PA and volunteering at Beacon Animal Shelter in Ocean View, N.J.

As last year, family and friends outside of the local area, or who want to perform service elsewhere in Casey’s memory are invited to do so. Please  remember to send in your photos if you will be volunteering somewhere other that at Francisvale.

The day will conclude with a reception at the Feldman home from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

All are welcome to share the day with family and friends at Francisvale or at the Feldman home in the evening. To RSVP, respond to the events listed on the Casey Feldman Network site or, email [email protected].

Related Posts & Links:

A Day of Service and Remembrance on Casey Feldman’s First “Angelversary” – July 17, 2010

Photos – July 17, 2010

Francisvale Home for Smaller Animals

German Shepard Rescue of Southeastern Pennsylvania – Tribute to Casey Feldman

Animal Haven, NYC (see the puppy named after Casey)

Casey Feldman 14 minute memorial video (which includes footage at Animal Haven)

Three of the four Feldman family cats

July 17th Day of Service Scheduled to Honor Casey Feldman’s Memory

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Casey and Nikki - Oct. 2008, Ridley Creek State Park

July 17th this year will be spent doing service work to honor Casey’s memory on this first anniversary of her death.

Casey and her dad with Annie, Fall of 2000

The first service project lined up is at  Francisvale Home For Smaller Animals, a no-kill shelter in Radnor, Pa. which has been operating for over 100 years. Volunteers will work from mid morning to mid afternoon painting the interior of their small building. The day will conclude later in the evening for food and fellowship at the Feldman home. Other projects are being lined up in additional areas for those who are not local to the Philadelphia area.

Casey was an animal lover, having everything from chickens, rabbits, guinea pigs, horses, lizards, fish, turtles and of course, cats and dogs while growing up. She was a big advocate of adoption and all of the household pets were strays and adoptees in need of a home. The family German Shepards all came from German Shepard Rescue of Southeastern Pa, which included a beautiful tribute to Casey in their Summer 2009 Newsletter. While at college at Fordham University, Casey would get her “animal fix” and need to give back by volunteering at Animal Haven, a no-kill shelter in NYC. The first puppy that came into the shelter after Casey’s death was named “Casey” in her memory.

Consider joining us on July 17th. View the July 17th event on the Network site at CaseyFeldmanNetwork.org and RSVP. If you are not a member of that site, consider joining. You need not have known Casey personally to become a member. Otherwise, RSVP here in the comment section below or consider your own way of honoring Casey’s memory on July 17th.

Casey’s family, friends, loved ones and those touched by her story look forward to a wonderful day of service to remember Casey.

Casey's friends Brooke Burdge and Kelsey Butler at Animal Haven with the puppy given the honorary name of Casey

Three of Casey's four family kitties. Cindy (top), Sandy and Blizzard.

Casey and her cousin Chris' Rottweiler, Sasha - Sept. 2007

Scholarship Recipient Brooke Burdge Recognized as Featured Volunteer at Animal Haven in NYC

Monday, May 3rd, 2010

Casey Feldman Network site administrator, Brooke Burdge is the “Featured Volunteer” this month at Animal Haven in NYC. As many of you know, Casey and Brooke were friends and used to volunteer together at Animal Haven, taking the dogs out for much needed walks and giving love to all of the pets sheltered there, including the kitties. Despite
a hectic schedule between her studies, internship, working as a waitress and administering the Network site (CaseyFeldmanNetwork.org), Brooke has continued to make the time to volunteer with the animals. The photo of Brooke selected by the shelter for their feature of Brooke is one of Brooke holding the “Casey puppy”. Shortly after Casey’s death, a spirited black puppy arrived at the shelter and was named Casey, in Casey’s memory. Fortunately, this loving little pup was quickly adopted. Maybe our Casey helped orchestrate that adoption! When told that our Casey was probably smiling on this recent honor bestowed upon Brooke, as featured volunteer, Brooke responded, “She would get a kick out of this. I always wanted to be in that newsletter! Haha!”

Congratulations Brooke! Thanks you for your tieless efforts on behalf of all of the animals that you helped, including those at Animal Haven.

Note: To view the video of Brooke at Animal Haven shelter talking about her experience volunteering there with Casey,  click here and fast forward to 4:51 minutes into the Remembering Casey DVD. Read the previous post on Brooke Burdge’s award of a Foundation scholarship . Give other deserving young people opportunities and contribute to the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation .