The Charlie Randall Pet Foundation is a not-for-profit all-volunteer cooperative effort between local business leaders, local community leaders, the local veterinarian community, local government leaders and the Island Chapter of The American Red Cross. The Foundation is dedicated to the overall wellbeing of household pets on Fidalgo Island. To accomplish this, the Foundation will undertake efforts in 4 key areas, which we refer to as the Foundation’s pillars:
The Foundation will primarily service household pet needs on Fidalgo Island. However, Foundation resources and equipment may be made available to surrounding areas if needed in an emergency.
Fidalgo Island is a 41 square mile island located in Skagit County, Washington, about 78 miles north of Seattle. Fidalgo Island is the eastern most member of the San Juan Island chain, and is the only San Juan Island that is directly connected to the mainline via bridge. The total population of the island is approximately 20,000, and its largest city is Anacortes (11.8 square miles) with a population of approximately 15,000. The 12.2 square mile Swinomish Indian Reservation, with a population of approximately 2600, is also located on the island. There are approximately 6100 households on Fidalgo Island, and it is estimated that over 75% of these households have at least 1 household pet.
The fact that we live on an island, along with our unique population demographics and high percentage of households with pets, provides some significant challenges for insuring the wellbeing of Fidalgo Island Pets.
How it all Started
Anacortes is a very pet friendly town. The town’s pet owners are a large, tight-knit community. Over the past 5 years, several pet friendly events were started by the local pet community. Two of the more notable events were the funding and creation of a 1.5 acre dog park in downtown Anacortes, and the establishment of an annual pet fund raising event named “Bark in the Park”. The man-behind-the-scenes in the creation of these, and other events, was Charlie Randall.
Charlie Randall did a tremendous amount for pets in Anacortes. For over 5 years, he worked tirelessly in the creation of the Anacortes Dog Park, and he provided countless hours of manual labor to make sure that the dog park would be the best that it could be. He was the driving force who did it all for the creation of the annual Bark-in-the-Park event. He assisted in the creation of the Fidalgo Island Santa Paws fundraiser. And he did so much more. And while doing all of this, he wouldn’t allow his name to be mentioned in any notoriety. Charlie Randall became a local folk hero for pet lovers on Fidalgo Island.
Sadly, Charlie died in October of 2009, just three months after the opening of the Anacortes Dog Park. Shortly after his death, Charlie’s closest friends established a fund with the intention of creating a dog and cat food bank in Charlie’s memory.
At about the same time, Anacortes businesswoman Jean Groesbeck approached the local chapter of the American Red Cross to try to develop a local pet disaster response program. Jean was very touched by stories involving pets during Hurricane Katrina – the joy when people that had lost everything were reunited with their pets, to the sadness of people that died because they would not leave their pets during the evacuation. The local Red Cross had an unused van that could be used as a Pet Emergency Response Vehicle, but it needed allot of work. So Jean and her husband donated the money to get the van detailed, painted and running well. Her hope was that the van would give people something tangible to see, and would make the pet disaster plan concept easier to visualize. This Pet Emergency Response Vehicle has become an important tool in the Charlie Randall Pet Foundation’s efforts.
The creators of The Charlie Randall Fund learned of Jean Groesbeck’s efforts, and they decided to join forces. When combined, these two groups, plus the American Red Cross and other local community leaders, formed the roots of the Charlie Randall Pet Foundation. The Charlie Randall Pet Foundation continues to have a close, and mutually beneficial, relationship with The American Red Cross, the local business community, the local veterinarian community and with The City of Anacortes.
Board of Directors
The Charlie Randall Pet Foundation has a very active Board of Directors. This is not a passive Board of Directors. Each Director directly participates in the overall planning and implementation of some aspect or aspects of the Foundation’s pillars. The Directors are volunteers, are leaders in the community and share a passion for the caring and wellbeing of pets.
- Skip Hawk – Foundation Board President – Retired Technology Industry Executive
- Chris Terrell – Foundation Board Treasurer – CEO, How It Works, Inc.
- Lydia Oakes – Foundation Board Secretary – CEO, LDH Transcriptions
- Jean Groesbeck – Foundation Board Member – CEO, Coldwell Banker Island Living
- Brian Geer – Foundation Board Member – Executive Director, Island Chapter of The American Red Cross
- Amy Terhune – Foundation Board Member – Community Pet Activist, Founder of “Bark in the Park”, “Santa Paws” and Co-Founder of Anacortes Dog Park
- Vicki Armstrong – Foundation Board Member – Director, Sunnyhill Kennels
- Dr. Peter Brown – Foundation Board Member – Veterinarian
- Dr. Bill Testerman – Foundation Board Member – Veterinarian
- Marie Padovan – Foundation Board Member – Director of Animal Control & Wellbeing, City of Anacortes
- Deb Ayrs – Foundation Board Member – Disaster Planning Specialist and Retired Fire Chief
- Marilyn Missimer- Foundation Board Member – Retired Chemist