The will honor former Marin resident Gregg Tully as 2011 Humanitarian of the Year at the organization’s annual Spring Social, which takes place on Sunday, May 20 from 3 to 5 p.m.
MHS will also present the 2011 Youth of the Year award to Vanessa Springer of San Rafael High School, and the 2011 Educator of the Year award to Barbara Ronayne of Grant Grover School.
Former Marin County Supervisor Charles McGlashan will be posthumously recognized for his years of animal advocacy and community service, and special guest Assemblymember Jared Huffman will receive the Legislator of the Year award from the Humane Society of the United States.
The event is open to the public, but seating is limited. Tours of the MHS campus will be available following the program.
Humanitarian of the Year: Currently based in Kathmandu, Nepal, Tully has spent more than a year supporting the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre (KAT Centre) in its efforts to create a healthy, sustainable street dog population through spay/neuter, vaccination and treatment programs.
At various times occupying the role of executive director, education and communications officer, and accountant, Tully has been instrumental in raising awareness and support — both locally and worldwide — for KAT Centre’s work to help thousands of injured and malnourished street dogs. As a former Marin Humane Society employee, Tully is utilizing his expertise to oversee marketing and development efforts, and improve operational procedures for the organization. “I would say that the impact of my experiences at the Marin Humane Society is reaching far beyond Marin County,” says Tully.
Youth of the Year: The 2011 Helena & Anthony Franklin Memorial Award for Outstanding Contribution by a Youth will be awarded to Vanessa Springer of San Rafael. A senior at San Rafael High School, Springer has volunteered hundreds of hours at the Marin Humane Society socializing with adoption dogs. She also volunteers at the Marine Mammal Center and completed an internship at the Richardson Bay Audubon Sanctuary.
Springer will attend the University of Arizona in the fall, where she plans to pursue a career as a veterinarian. “Many of the animals, staff and volunteers I have met at MHS have inspired me to pursue my goals of becoming a veterinarian and to dedicate my life to working with and advocating for animals,” says Springer.
Educator of the Year: Barbara Ronayne, a teacher at Grant Grover School in Kentfield, is the 2011 Madelon Tormanen Humane Educator of the Year. Ronayne has been instrumental in bringing the Marin Humane Society’s SHARE (Special Human Animal Relationships) program to her students. Dog-handler teams make weekly visits to Ronayne’s classroom to socialize with children with disabilities. She skillfully uses SHARE dogs to motivate her students to experience new situations, and improve their academics. Ronayne has also introduced the SHARE program to her class at San Jose Middle School in Novato.
“Thanks to Barbara’s dedication, dozens of Marin students have benefitted from lessons about care and compassion for all living things,” says Darlene Blackman, MHS community programs manager. “Barbara has gone above and beyond to make a difference in the lives of her students.”
Charles McGlashan Community Services Award: The former Marin County Supervisor will be posthumously recognized for his legacy of animal and environmental advocacy. From working to ban plastic bags in Marin County to supporting “cage-free” and “meatless Monday” County resolutions, McGlashan’s visionary leadership and remarkable spirit helped to make the world a better place for animals and people in Marin and beyond.
On Dec. 25, 2010, McGlashan insisted on spending Christmas Day volunteering at the Marin Humane Society, later remarking that the experience had been “a great gift to give back to the animals.”
The Marin Humane Society congratulates these individuals for their outstanding contributions of kindness and dedication to the humane ethic.