Charlie’s Angels keep friend’s legacy alive, five years running

The organizers of the annual Charlie’s Angels golf tournament presented their donation to the SPCA Monday. Pictured, Left to right is (Back row) Wendy Cartier, Marte Grant, SPCA president Brent MacDonald, Interim SPCA operations manager Anna Dinsdale, Tammy Pilon (front row) Tammy Abrey-Hare, SPCA vice president Kathlene Howell and Bo. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

For five years, a group of friends has been doing their part to continue their late friend’s legacy.

Charlene Welch, or Charlie as she was known to her friends, lost her battle with cancer in 2013. Each year, Charlie’s Angels, as they call themselves, have put on a fundraising golf tournament in her honour to support the Prince Albert SPCA. Their fifth annual tournament was held this past weekend at Mark’s Nine. Monday, they stopped by the SPCA with their donations.

“We didn’t want to (do something) for cancer because cancer has lots of fundraisers. The next best thing, the second best things to Charlie’s heart were her fur babies. We have been doing this to benefit the SPCA ever since,” said Holly Abrey-Hare, who helps organize the tournament.

This year’s total of $17,758.62 brings the five-year total close to the $80,000 mark.

They also collected enough gifts in kind to fill the back of a small pickup truck.

“We’re thrilled,” Abrey-Hare said.

“It’s incredible how 64 women can fundraise nearly $18,000 dollars. We have a group of hard-core golfers who just want to do what they can for the SPCA, plus the truckload of gifts in kind, which is priceless.”

Prince Albert SPCA vice-president Kathleen Howell had trouble putting into words how much the contributions of Charlie’s Angels mean to the shelter.

“The reason we are capable of running, why it’s so important, is the SPCA can’t exist without it,” she said.

“The animals we save every year would still be on the streets or worse without this kind of fundraising, special needs animals in particular.”

For example, the shelter just took in a litter of Rottweiler puppies. The mother had been shot, the nine puppies survived. It’s a special needs case, and without people giving those large donations, the shelter wouldn’t be able to afford to care for them.

“There’s really no one else in the city that can take them. I can’t stress (enough) the importance of it, keeping us running and keeping us able to do what we do, helping us to help the animals.”

According to Howell, the average dog costs about $1,000 from the time it arrives until the time it leaves the shelter. Special needs cases, like when an animal has been shot or starved or needs to be spayed or neutered, can cost more. Donations like those made by Charlie’s Angels help a large number of rescues. The toys and the food are especially helpful too.

The timing for the tournament couldn’t have been better. The shelter is currently at capacity. There is no more room for cats, and with two litters of puppies that aren’t ready to be adopted out yet, the need for food and funds is high.

“This is an absolutely perfect time for this to come in for us,” she said. We are absolutely at capacity.”

The legacy of Charlie’s Angels hasn’t gone unnoticed. Inside the SPCA there is a plaque with photos from each of the past donations, as well as a little bit about Charlie herself.

“We love coming to the SPCA and we love benefitting the SPCA,” Abrey-Hare said.

“Charlie is shining down on us, and the SPCA has been really good to us as well.”

The SPCA loves Charlie’s Angels back.

“I would like to stress how much we appreciate the Charlie’s Angels,

Howell said.

“Their name is synonymous to who they are and what we do. We couldn’t do this without them.”