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Nicki Fenderson's Fundraiser:

Warm Hearts, Wet Noses

Nicki's Photo
Nicki's Photo
Nicki's Photo
Nicki Fenderson

THE STORY:

In the fall of 2006, my husband and I lost Oakley, one of our beloved Labrador Retrievers to a debilitating disease. He was only six years old, and the onset was very rapid and unexpected. Within just weeks his liver was in complete failure, and we had to let him go. We were devastated. Our dogs are our children - yes, we are THOSE people!

Then, in March of 2007, I lost my father - very suddenly and unexpectedly to a pulmonary embolism. My family fell apart in a heartbeat, and I didn't know what to do with myself. I was on anti-depressants and sleeping meds in order to cope with the loss, all while trying to help my mother through the grieving process. I decided to pour my energy into a fundraiser in memory of both my dad and our beloved Oakley. I immediately chose Best Friends - I've been supporting them for years. My husband and I are avid hikers, and we decided we would climb Mt. Whitney - the tallest mountain in the lower 48 - to benefit Best Friends in honor of our lost loved ones.

My contact, Vicki, was incredible. I adore her. We are friends to this day. She helped with all the logistics on her end, and I started planning Angels Rest Memorial Hike, which ended up being 50 miles of hiking in the Sierra Nevada mountains, culminating with us standing on the summit of a 14,000 foot mountain. We raised nearly $6,000 for Best Friends with that fundraiser. Our goal was $5,000. I only wish Crowdrise had been around back then!

After our hike, my husband and I traveled to Best Friends in Kanab, Utah, where we were met with the warmest welcome possible. I never dreamed I would feel such a connection to a place I'd never been, or to people I'd never met. We were able to hang a wind chime in the Angels Rest sanctuary in honor of our loved ones, and it remains there to this day. Best Friends helped me to grieve, and to heal. Angel Canyon is a special, magical place, and Best Friends is part of that magic. The rescue work they do in Kanab, and across the country and around the world, is amazing.

Best Friends was instrumental in the rescue of thousands of animals from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and were the driving force behind the rescue of Michael Vick's Pit Bulls, which were given refuge and a second chance at the sanctuary. Every day, Best Friends fights for the welfare of animals. They will always be my charity of choice, and I will continue to fundraise on their behalf in any way I can.

Please join me!

The Team: $0 TOTAL RAISED SO FAR

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Nicki Fenderson

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Jeff Minton

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