The heart of the Fredericton SPCA just got bigger thanks to Matt, Lisa, Nicole, Alicia and Chandler Stairs. Retired major league baseball hero Matt Stairs has been the Community Ambassador for the organization for the past few years but for 2016 the entire family has stepped up to the plate.
“Animal welfare is important to us as a family,” says Lisa, “so it seems so appropriate for us to volunteer to take on this position together.”
Matt agrees. “Our pets are members of our family and bring us a lot of joy. If there is anything we can do together to improve the lives of other homeless animals, we’re here to help,” he adds.
Matt and Lisa have raised over $150,000 for the Fredericton SPCA in the past four years through the annual Matt Stairs Golf Tournament which shares the profits with the Fredericton Minor Baseball Association. This effort has helped keep the annual euthanasia rate to less than two percent while the national average is 17 percent for dogs and 37 percent for cats. It also supports a behaviour modification program and daily enrichment activities.
“The Stairs family is the epitome of philanthropy,” says Scott Elliott, President of the Board of Directors of the FSPCA. “They set a standard for community involvement and we are thrilled that the entire family will be representing our organization as Community Ambassadors.”
The ambassador role is a volunteer position that was created to name a local celebrity to further the cause of animal welfare in the community by attending events, speaking to the cause and helping with fundraising. Local radio broadcaster Trevor Doyle was the first to be named to the position and held it for five years.
“The Community Ambassador is important to us,” Elliott explains. “People pay attention to those they know and recognize in the community. Awareness is a critical piece in changing pet overpopulation and increasing empathy in our society. The Stairs family understands this well and we are very grateful for their continued support.”
The ambassador position is for a one-year term, renewable annually upon mutual agreement. There is no monetary compensation for accepting the position.