When Mario Bevilacqua, entrepreneur, co-owner and executive chef of the award-winning, neon green, What the Fork Truck, learned that his friends at Dessin Animal Shelter, Honesdale, recently rescued 55 dogs from a Waymart home on Saturday, September 7, he reached out, offering his help, to truck patron and executive director of the Olga and Dorothea Dessin Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Dara Coslett Granza.
“I was beyond touched by his generosity,” says Coslett Granza. “Mario, and his co-owner, fiancé, Katie Graziosi, have donated to Dessin, in the past, in cooperation with Chef Michael’s dog food. And he took the time, on a Sunday, to check in with us and immediately started talking about hosting a fundraiser to aid in the care of the recovered animals – and all our animals at Dessin.”
So Bevilacqua and Coslett Granza “put the wheels in motion” for this Sunday’s “Forking Amazing Fundraiser,” which will be held in the parking lot of the Viewmont Mall, off Viewmont Dr., Dickson City. Community members can stop by between 11:30 a.m. and 7 p.m. for mouth-watering cuisine and their four-legged friends will have an opportunity to sample some tasty treats from the truck’s limited edition Chef Michael’s dog food dispenser.
Bevilacqua and his staff’s goal is to help raise funds for Dessin by donating a portion of the day’s sales to the nonprofit, as well as by asking patrons to help fill the shelter’s van with much-needed supplies that include items like bleach, paper towels, dog food and rawhide. He’s also donating 500 pounds of dog food to Dessin.
But, most importantly, Bevilacqua want to raise awareness about animal cruelty and hoarding. Some of the rescued puppies will visit the truck from noon to 2 p.m. Sunday. Coslett Granza said it will be a little while until they are available for adoption.
“The addition of 50-plus dogs to our shelter, when we were already at capacity, is a huge drain on our resources, manpower, food and supplies. These dogs appear malnourished. They are very thin and have a lot of hair loss. Some have overgrown nails through their foot pads and others are blind. Cases like these not only take a toll on the psyche of our over-extended staff. They cost the shelter a great deal of money. These animals will need vet care, to be spayed and neutered, housed and nursed back to health,” said Coslett Granza.
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She added that, “without fundraisers like Sunday’s and supporters like Bevilacqua, Dessin couldn’t get by.”
Page 2 of 2 - Charges against the dog’s owner are expected early this week. The shelter is need of families to foster some of the rescued dogs. Contact operations manager Debbie Moore at (570) 253-4037.
Questions about the “Forking Amazing Fundraiser” can be directed to (570) 647-0620. If you are unable to attend and would like to securely donate online, via PayPal, visit the “Donate” page at HYPERLINK "http://www.DessinShelter.com" www.DessinShelter.com or stop by the shelter at 138 Miller Dr., Honesdale, during business hours. What the Fork Truck’s daily menu is posted on their facebook page at HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.cm/WTForktruck" www.facebook.cm/WTForktruck.