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Rancho Mirage Insider Magazine features Paws & Hearts as the Cover Story for the November 2023 issue.

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Remembering Drew...

Drew Marefos -- Some very very sad news to share--you all know "Uncle" Drew Marefos, (Uncle to all my dogs since Lucky). Drew trained many of you over the years to become volunteers. For those of you who attended our December Office Party, Drew was right there at my side. He passed away very suddenly on Friday April 28th.”

His family, his late partner Emelio's family, his friends and I are still in shock. Those of you who saw us together know what an incredible friendship we had. He believed in our little organization and worked tirelessly doing whatever he could to help out. I have so many amazing memories of 16 1/2 years of dear, dear friendship. Just look at a few of the pictures of us together at various times over the years of Paws & Hearts. He was also so proud to put on his volunteer shirt and talk about his volunteer efforts!!! I couldn't have asked for a better side-kick.

There will be much more on Drew's life with us in our Summer 2023 Newsletter!

"Okay Drew, just let me know you got to heaven safe and sound and that you are with your loved ones."--signed--the one on earth who loved you the most--Ricky

Remembering Valerie...

Many of our long-time volunteers will recognize the name Valerie Zugates as well as her picture. Valerie had been around "Paws & Hearts" for fifteen years if not longer. Valerie did our books, she maintained our website and our mailing list. She was the one who saw your volunteer reports first before I ever got them. I can’t tell you how many times she’d send me a little note along with the weekly reports saying, “The report from Buddy brought tears to my eyes. Be sure to read it!”

Valerie passed away the first week of January of this year after a long, second battle with cancer. Out of respect for her husband Tim, I won’t share more than that. Valerie played such an important role in helping to establish us all those years ago.

When a big grant or a major donation was received she’d always give me advice how to best invest it. She attended all of our board meetings even before she was on the board. Many of you who have attended our Dog Walks over the years will know her from interacting with her at registration.

Valerie was incredibly good to me for so many years. She just dropped out of the sky one day and called when she heard through someone else that I needed a bookkeeper. Most of her work for us was as a donation of her time. Talk about someone who believed in our mission statement and wanted to help!

“Valerie it isn’t the same in the office at month-end without you coming in, doing the books and having our tuna fish/egg salads salads and blueberry muffins and coffee.” Rest in peace dear girl, you are out of pain and you will never be forgotten.

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