A ‘scramble’ to benefit animal rescue organizations

Posted 8/17/22

Surely enough, legislators showed up last Monday at the Quidnessett Golf Club for General Assembly leaders to convene.

But this wasn’t a day to debate legislation, confirm an important …

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A ‘scramble’ to benefit animal rescue organizations


Surely enough, legislators showed up last Monday at the Quidnessett Golf Club for General Assembly leaders to convene.

But this wasn’t a day to debate legislation, confirm an important judicial appointment or haggle over how to spend millions in federal funds. Knowingly or not, this was a day they would help dogs like Millie.

Millie was a long-term resident at the Warwick Animal Shelter. With a kind disposition and craving attention, Millie would have been adopted. However, she had two strikes against her and it looked like a third would come any day. Millie was eight years old and faced some serious health problems, said Judy Salvadore, president of the Friends of the Warwick Animal Shelter. 

Who would want to adopt Millie not knowing what they could face in veterinarian bills and the heartbreak of watching her suffer? Salvadore knew the odds of Millie being adopted were slim to none, yet the Friends weren’t going to give up.

Salvadore told the story in the pleasantly air conditioned club dining room. The tables were set with fresh linen and at the front of the room prizes provided a backdrop to a podium where the winners of the day’s proceedings would be announced. Outside in the shade of a giant tent former and current legislators, lobbyists, judges, State House staffers and their friends lined up to help themselves to salads, hotdogs, hamburgers and cookies. They were attired for an afternoon of 18 holes of golf. Some, like Senate Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey aren’t regular players. In preparation for the day, McCaffrey decided it was time to buy new golf shoes. He was surprised by what he ended up getting.

Sporting what looked to be sneakers, McCaffrey said, “they don’t even have cleats.” Members of his foursome, former Rep. Bob Jacquard, former Senator and lobbyist Stephen Alves and former Senate President and Justice Joseph Montalbano, smiled. They knew cleats are out and sneakers are in.

Strangely, since he organized the day on the links, House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi doesn’t play golf.  The event dubbed the Shekarchi Scramble benefits animal rescue groups that are close to his heart for the work they do and his love of dogs.

In a bright blue shirt, Shekarchi greeted players as they registered before grabbing a bite of lunch and doubling up in golf carts to head to their assigned tees. With a shotgun start, the foursome play until they complete 18 holes. With 144 players, the scramble was sold out and it appeared the event would raise equal to, if not more, than it did last year to benefit animal rescue agencies.

Last year Friends of the Warwick Animal Shelter was a primary beneficiary. The same was the case this year along with Anchor Paws.

Salvadore said the $16,000 the Friends received last year came at a time when the organization hadn’t been able to conduct fundraisers because of the pandemic. It was a huge boost enabling them to continue assistance to the shelter. The Friends, an all volunteer organization, operate on a $40,000 budget. The money they raise has funded a caged area allowing dogs to play outside, shelter air conditioning and pay for veterinary services.

Salvadore fears inflation and the pressure it places on families will have an adverse effect on pets as people put off checkups and issues needing medical attention.  It may also mean an increase in animals needing adoption.

Last year the Shekarchi Scramble enabled the Friends to get the care Millie needed. The cost came to $4,000 in veterinary bills.

Millie was adopted.

“She’s got a home and has her own couch,” reported Salvadore.

It looks like this year’s scramble will be able help more animals. Shekarchi didn’t have the final numbers this week but he is hopeful the day on the links will net $40,000 after expenses.

scramble, golfing


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