Press Release                                                         For Release: January 1, 2024
Burton Fletcher
Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, Inc.
Cell: 229.560.8180

The Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals to Hold Its Third Annual Animal Welfare Heroes Contest 2024

The Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals wishes to recognize and cheer on individuals and organizations across South Georgia and North Central Florida in its Third Annual Animal Welfare Heroes Contest for their outstanding contributions to animal welfare through a competition where everyone is considered a winner.

Little is done to recognize the volunteers and organizations in animal rescue anywhere, and retired professor and emeritus attorney Burton Fletcher, who is the founder and president of this animal welfare foundation, saw unmet needs when forming his foundation in 2021.

The foundation representatives wrote in a statement, “Until government entities step forward and do what’s right to give these volunteers and rescue organizations their due, we will seek to do our best to pat these warriors on the back and serve as a cheerleader to spur them on to continue doing good work on behalf of animals in our communities.”

The Third Annual Animal Welfare Heroes 2024 competition awards will look at volunteerism, fostering, adoption, donations, fundraising, spaying, neutering, political advancements, and other factors, organizers said. “We don’t have a lot of money to offer, as we did during past years, but we have some important awards and acknowledgment, and we offer positive publicity for individuals and organizations that will help them with fundraising, grants, public recognition, and organizational credibility.”

Foundation representatives stated, “We also have at least three individuals marked for the Charles DeVane Award, our most prominent and cherished award, named after Mr. Charles DeVane, a well-known and distinguished contributor and political advocate for animal welfare across South Georgia and Atlanta.” Mr. DeVane is the only individual to receive a personal proclamation from Chairman Bill Slaughter, Lowndes County Board of Supervisors, through our advocacy and to receive this distinguished award in his name through our foundation for outstanding efforts in animal rescue.”

The Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals, Inc. is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation dedicated to Five Compelling Priorities, best summarized as (1) zealous advocacy for the animals in the Lowndes County Animal Shelter, with the goal that Lowndes County will strive to have a “no-kill shelter” defined as 90% or higher live outcomes; (2) promoting adoption over the purchase of animals; (3) promotion of spaying and neutering of animals and low-cost services; (4) provide publicity and promotion for animal rescue, including advocacy for fostering, adoption, volunteering, and, donating, and (5) honoring and promotion of animal welfare heroes, volunteers, animal shelters and animal rescue organizations across South Georgia and North Central Florida.

We need the public’s help volunteering and raising funds for this worthy cause. Volunteer work can be performed from home, where the interviewers live. This will consist of researching and interviewing animal rescue volunteers, taking notes, and writing details and essays that can be used for press releases. Other volunteers can help us raise funds to present professionally designed and printed award certificates that, in some cases, will be framed for presentation.

Many people have already been nominated for awards for the Third Annual Animal Welfare Heroes Contest, 2024. Some of these people may not receive awards for one reason or another unless we have an adequate workforce of volunteers or financial resources. Volunteer researchers, writers, and editors are in high demand with the Animal Welfare Heroes Contest. Community support is always welcome and much appreciated!

Some award winners will hopefully receive proclamations, but these require extensive information to prove the individual is worthy of the proclamation. Lowndes County Chairman Bill Slaughter and City of Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson have been most gracious in assisting us with proclamations, and we thank them.

In June 2023, City of Valdosta Mayor Scott James Matheson presented foundation president Burton Fletcher with a proclamation honoring the foundation for its many activities since its founding promoting animal rescue.

Individuals such as Attorney Tim Conlon of the Conlon Law Group, which handles mobile loan closings throughout Georgia and South Carolina, and Mr. John Dukes, CPA of the CPA firm Brandon, Rackley & Dukes, and retired professor of business administration and emeritus attorney, and foundation president, Burton Fletcher, and others, without whom we would not be able to conduct many of our activities.

If everything checks out, and we receive enough information about nominees, we have at least three people who we wish to present our highest award, the Charles DeVane Award, this year. They are well deserving and long past due. We will not present any award unless we have enough evidence for a press release worthy of the award.

“We need press releases for newspapers and media on a great many people since the goal of the foundation is to inform the public of the important work of these people and their organizations to encourage fostering, adoption, volunteering, spaying, neutering, donating, sponsoring, board membership and the like,” Fletcher said. We also need to know the appropriate awards, to whom to give them and to whom not to give them, and why.

People can nominate and vote for up to five deserving individuals. The contest is open from January 1st, and the voting deadline is noon on February 15, 2024. Visit the Burton Fletcher Foundation for Animals website to nominate individuals and organizations and for additional details.

People may also nominate individuals or direct questions by emailing Burton Fletcher at Foundation members stressed that explaining sufficiently why the nominee deserves an award with as much specificity as possible is essential and providing the contact information for both the nominator and the nominee. All individuals will be vetted through the animal rescue community before any award is announced and granted.

This no-lose contest for public nominations starts on January 1 and ends on February 15th at noon. Nomination forms will soon be available on the foundation’s website at Donations and nominations can also be made through the foundation’s website.

Awards will be presented throughout 2024. These awards will recognize deserving individuals, organizations, and animal shelters throughout South Georgia and North Central Florida. Fletcher said, “If we don’t recognize these folks, please ask yourself, ‘Who will?’ ‘My answer is ‘No one!’” //


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