Showing off the check Our Farm Sanctuary received at the picnic are, from left, student Becca Clark, teacher Mary Lochtefeld, the sanctuary's volunteer coordinator Alyssa Morris and rescue dog, a Jack Russell Niagara, teacher Kristina McKinzie and student Ellie Pierre. (Linda Moody photo)

Pay-It-Forward Picnic benefits rescue animals

ANSONIA— The annual Pay-It-Forward Picnic was held Wednesday at lunch time at the football field behind Ansonia local Schools.

High school students were served hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, cookies, and ice cream.

According to the co-organizers of the picnic (high school English teachers Kristina McKenzie and Mary Lochtefeld),  the following senior boys did the grilling: Peyton Beam, Tytus Gasper, Mason Adkins, Clayton Steinmetz and Isaac Oswalt.

The purpose of the event is to raise money for a local organization. This year’s recipient was the Our Farm Sanctuary, located at 6495 Agenbroad, in Tipp City. In fact, McKinsey lives in Tipp City and five of her 15 fostered cats came from the non-profit agency.

There, to accept the $1,792 check was Volunteer coordinator Alyssa Morris, with her daughter Cadence and one of the rescue animals, a nine-year-old Jack Russell named Niagara.

Our Farm Sanctuary, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that provides shelter, food, veterinary, and adoption services for rescued, unwanted, abandoned, and abused animals of all sizes, from domestic pet to farm animal and in-between. Its mission is “to ensure these animals are cared for until their natural end.”

Not only do they take in pets but they also take in farm animals in need of rescue.

“Currently, we have over 400 cats, 30 dogs and there are three donkeys, two horses, a handful of alpacas and llamas as well as horses, pigs and goats on three acres of land,” said Morris, who is a volunteer  coordinator and board member. “We have a strict application process for dogs and cats. Anybody who wants to adopt one can email me at  ourfarmsanctuary@gmail.com or call 1-815-766-0037 or the office at 1-937-506-0696.”

How did the money get collected for the picnic?

“Students had to buy a ticket for $5 to eat, play games and basically have fun,” McKinzie said.

She noted that all of the money raised goes to the cause as well as donations from the community for this cause since there are no other fund-raisers for it.

Sponsors for the day’s event were: John’s IGA, Vints Hot Head Burrito, Coffee Pot, McBo’s, Bob Evans, Marco’s, Reier’s Auto, Taco Bell, Scott Rudnick, Weaver’s, Ansonia American Legion, Dairy Queen, Ansonia Lumber, Cox Insurance, Moody’s Auto, Edward Jones, Walmart, Winner’s Meat Farm and Butcher’s Block.

Last year’s recipient of the check was Ansonia United Methodist Church’s Food bank.

“Our Farm Sanctuary is family-friendly,” Morris pointed out. “Director is Dr. Sophia Kartsonis.”

Here is a close-up shot of the check that was presented to Alyssa Morris as a result of the Pay-It-Forward picnic. (Linda Moody photo)

Linda Moody / Staff Writer

I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.

Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ lmoody@darkecountynow.com or 937-337-1955.

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