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

 

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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.

Casey Feldman’s 5th “Angelversary”

Friday, August 1st, 2014

Ken Garrity

By Dianne L. Anderson

July 17th marked the 5th anniversary of Casey’s death. We continue to honor her life and memory especially on the annual anniversary,  through a day of service surrounded by family and friends. Those unable to attend the Philadelphia area event remember Casey in their own special way on Casey’s “angelversary”.

The Casey Feldman Foundation was established to “give back”, so that Casey’s life would continue to make a difference in the lives of others. The 5th anniversary was no different, helping the patients at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia – individuals recovering from life altering trauma as a result of brain and spinal injuries or stroke. Volunteers did weeding and gardening, parking lot and grounds cleanup, moving of file boxes up the steps in assembly line fashion from the basement, among other chores.

Nancy Chester (L) and Scott and Betty Thornton

Since Casey was an animal lover, each year of service has incorporated this one of her many passions. The Casey Feldman Foundation established Magee’s first facility dog who works along side patients in their occupational therapy. To be distinguished from a service or therapy dog, this highly trained 4-legged “therapist” knows over 70 different commands, and assists patients with balance,  movements such as bending and grasping a ball to play fetch, and motivates them to do more during their physical therapy.

A special lunch time ceremony took place and volunteers were able to watch Joey at work with a patient and see a power point presentation by his handler, occupational therapist Christina Yulo Rinehimer, which featured Joey working with many different patients on a variety of skills.

Danielle Gibson and her little "sister"

Friends and family also heard from Casey’s parents and watched the moving “Remembering Casey” video produced by Casey’s father within the first few months of her death. It features Casey’s friends and family talking about Casey and how they have changed as a result of this life altering tragedy.

We continue to be blessed and humbled by the kindness, love and generosity of so many wonderful people who support The Casey Feldman Foundation in multiple ways.  We are also particularly grateful to those who volunteer their time to join us annually on the anniversary of Casey’s death.  It makes the day a bit easier surrounded by family and friends who join us to honor Casey in such a special way.

A patient works on his manual dexterity by brushing Joey's teeth

I, Casey’s mother,  as well as Casey’s father, Joel Feldman and her brother, Brett Feldman, are extremely grateful and thank all of you, without whose support we could not have have accomplished all that we have done in Casey’s memory these last 5 years.

Links:

Photos from the 2014 Day of Service

Because of Casey: Remembering & Celebrating One Woman’s Life & Legacy, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, July, 2014

Click here and scroll down to view the articles with links to press coverage, photos and videos, for all of the annual days of service.

Photos from all of the annual days of service

Some of the friends and family volunteers pose for a group photo at Magee

 

 

Join Us – The Casey Feldman Foundation’s 5th Annual Day of Service on Casey’s “Angelversary”: July 17, 2014

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014

Casey's dad, Joel with Joey and his trainer, Christina at Magee last July 17th

This year’s day of service for Casey Feldman’s fifth “Angelversary” will take place at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, 1513 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. It has become an annual event on the anniversary of Casey’s death to perform a day of service in her honor and memory. Since Casey was an animal lover and animal rights advocate, the service thus far has included this aspect of her many passions.

Through the support of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Magee established its first Facility Dog program, in 2012, adding a new official member to the Magee team, Ford, the Golden Retriever.

Last year, the Casey Feldman Foundation, together with Anapol Schwartz (Casey’s dad, Joel’s law firm), sponsored Magee’s second therapy dog, Joey, a Labrador Retriever/ Golden Retriever mix (View the photos from the 2013 Day of Service and the video below). “Anapol Schwartz has supported so many of our activities following Casey’s death and we are so appreciative of that support”, said Joel.

Through Magee’s Facility Dog program, Joey works alongside trained health and human service professionals to support patients in their therapy and facilitate the rehabilitation process. This program will be recognized as part of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation’s fifth annual “Angelversary” Day of Service.

Family, friends and supporters of Casey and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation are invited to provide a few hours of service at Magee and watch Joey in action as he leads patients in therapy sessions.  Service projects for the morning include filing, gardening, cleaning the parking lot and cleaning windows.  A lunch time ceremony will take place at 12:30 pm and  the day will conclude at 2:00 pm.

Watch the video from last year’s day of service and see below to RSVP.

Please join us on July 17th for our 5th annual Casey Feldman Day of Service to honor Casey’s life and memory by giving back to others. RSVP by Tuesday, July 15th at The Casey Feldman Network’s Facebook Event or Dianne’s Facebook Event, text or call Dianne 610-659-6995, or, respond to the event on the Casey Feldman Network website.

Please also consider making a donation in honor of Casey’s life and memory, so that we may continue the good work of the Foundation.

Related Links:

Photos from the 2013 Day of Service

Video of the 2013 Day of Service

CBS TV news coverage/ 2012 Day of Service

ABC TV news coverage/2012 Day of Service

Magee Rehab Teams Up with Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation for Facility Dog Program

Photos from the 2012 Day of Service

Join Us: July 17, 2013, Day of Service at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital on Casey’s 4th “Angelversary”

Monday, June 24th, 2013

Casey Feldman

This year’s day of service for Casey Feldman’s  fourth “Angelversary” will take place at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital, 1513 Race Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. It has become an annual event on the anniversary of Casey’s death to perform a day of service in her honor and memory. Since Casey was an animal lover and animal rights advocate, the service thus far has included this aspect of her many passions.

Through the support of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation, Magee  established its first Facility Dog program, in 2012, adding a new official member to the Magee team, Ford, the Golden Retriever.

This year, the Casey Feldman Foundation, together with Anapol Schwartz (Casey’s dad, Joel’s law firm), has sponsored Magee’s  second therapy dog, Joey, a Labrador Retriever/ Golden Retriever mix. “Anapol Schwartz has supported so many of our activities following Casey’s death and we are so appreciative of that support”, said Joel.

Through Magee’s Facility Dog program, Joey works alongside trained health and human service professionals to support patients in their therapy and facilitate the rehabilitation process. This program will be recognized as part of the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation’s fourth annual “Angelversary” Day of Service.

Casey's brother, Brett, meeting Joey at Magee in May

Family, friends and supporters of Casey and the Casey Feldman Memorial Foundation are invited to provide a few hours of service at Magee  and watch Joey in action as he leads patients in therapy sessions.  Service projects for the morning include filing, weeding the gardens, cleaning the parking lot and cleaning windows.  A lunch time ceremony will  take place at 12:30 pm and  the day will conclude at 2:00 pm.

Please RSVP by Monday, July 15th to join us on July 17th  at Casey Feldman Network Event or to Dianne Anderson, Casey Feldman’s mom, at 610-659-6995, or [email protected] or on Dianne’s Facebook Event.

Related Links:

[email protected], July 16, 2013: Because of Casey: Magee’s Facility Dog Program

CBS News Coverage 2012: Health: Dog Therapy To Honor Casey,

Previous articles regarding the annual “Day of Service”

Magee Rehabilitation Hospital

The Anapol Schwartz Foundation