WESTPORT The North Country SPCA held its first annual Christmas Appeal this past December. We thought of the idea when an older couple delivered food and said they didnt need anything for Christmas so they decided to buy something for the animals instead, said Jill Shpur, Shelter Assistant. This year the North Country SPCA reached out to local businesses asking people to consider making a Christmas donation in honor of a friend, relative or co-worker. Holiday certificates were mailed to donors for there loved ones or friends for Christmas. The appeal triggered an outpouring of donations, said Shelter Manager Pam Rock. I am so grateful and thankful for the support from local businesses and individuals in our surrounding communities. Each year the shelter cares for over 400 homeless animals and every donation helps our effort to provide shelter and find loving homes for each dog and cat, Rock said. The Christmas Appeal raised over $2,300 in cash donations, 1,965 pounds of dry food, and 994 cans of cat and dog food. The shelter also received bedding, toys, treats, collars and leashes. It was a very Merry Christmas for all the animals. The Adirondack Hair Associates of Port Henry have made the NCSPCA their year-round community project. This past December they had a giving tree. For every cash or food donation customers were entered into a drawing for a Visa gift card. Don Titus of Crown Point was the lucky winner and he donated his winnings back to the shelter. The group collected over 212 pounds of dry food and 229 of canned food, toys and treats. And a cash donation of over $400.00. The students at the Willsboro Central School out did themselves with over 983 pounds of food. And the Skills USA chapter of Champlain Valley Education Services in Mineville were busy this past fall. Skills USA is a partnership of students, instructors and industry working together to ensure that America has a skilled workforce. Under the guidance of Kevin Shaw and Dawn Waters members conducted a community service project benefiting the NCSPCA. Skills USA donated over 450 pounds of pet food, goods and supplies. A special note of thanks is due to Carol Sherman and her CV Tech Cosmetology class for thinking of the idea to help our animal friends. Additionally the Special Education classes raised $150 through an Elf Shelf where students shopped for the holidays. The Elizabethtown Community Hospital had collection boxes through out the hospital. Michelle Meachem spearheaded the project. The employees donated over 231 pounds of dry food, 165 cans of food and many treats, toys, bedding and a cash donation of $140. The Riverside Thrift Shop of the Whiteface Methodist Church in Wilmington donated stuffed animals and bedding. The Thrift Shop has collection boxes year-round for those wanting to donate bedding and toys for the animals. Vickie Trombley visits the church twice a week and delivers the donations to the shelter. The members of the Thrift Shop do an outstanding job supporting the shelter. The former employees of Tops Grocery in Port Henry annually give to the shelter. This year they donated over 55 pounds of dry good and 125 cans of cat and dog food. Other local businesses that donated are Champlain National Bank, Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union and the Essex County District Attorneys office. Individual Christmas donors were: Julie Barry, Margaret Boyle, Megan Brenkach, Shirley Bruce, Emily Drinkwater, Jess Fogle, Mary Fuller, Dorothy Irving, Carol Lafond, the Langway family, Peggy Lynch, Marci Oliver, Steve Pierce, Patricia Radcliffe, Molly and Emily Rascoe, Dawn St. Louis, Janet and Roger Smith, Vickie and Gary Trombley, Diane and Dan Val Olpen, Sid Ward, Ed Warner, Lynn and Ann Wilke, Julie Winch, Janine Wright and Kim Koch Wright, and Cheryl Wyant. Shpur says next year the NCSPCA hopes to have an even greater turnout of gift givers. It was heartwarming having so much support for our animals. There are so many abuse cases in our area. A special thanks goes out to Deputy Bob Rice and Sergeant William Allen of the Essex County Sheriffs Department for their work with the many abuse cases. They do an outstanding job, said Shpur. If you suspect animal cruelty, they can be reached at 518-873-6321.