STOW — More than 60,000 meals will be provided to animals in need, thanks to a Stow-based food drive at Kent State University Airport.
Props 4 Paws, a group comprised of airport staff and students, wrapped up its annual food drive with more than 10,000 pounds of food and 7,600 cans of food.
The collection is up at least 20 percent from last year’s, and is the sixth year for the drive, officials said.
Props 4 Paws will deliver the food and supplies to the Humane Society of Summit County on Thursday and to the Portage APL on Nov. 21.
Chalan Lowry, Executive Director at Portage APL, said the food donation frees up funds for other important expenses such as veterinary care and more.
“The Props 4 Paws donation means the world to the APL. We feel so grateful and lucky to benefit from their generous support,” she said. “The amount of food and supplies donated could very well last us months which could have an enormous impact on expenses.”
Lowry she is grateful for all who were involved in planning, collecting and donating the much-needed supplies.
Props 4 Paws was established by Jim Sebastian, part-time flight instructor, and Airport Manager David Poluga to collect food and supplies for the Humane Society of Summit County and Portage Animal Protection League.
“The airport is a reflection of the community it serves, and the community came together to provide these supplies for the animals,” Poluga said.
The idea got its start when Poluga wanted to do something philanthropic in the community, and as ideas were tossed around Sebastian suggested assisting animal rescues. The idea for Props 4 Paws was born, but then stalled before launching.
“Literally a year or two went by and one day I had just seen one of those heart-wrenching videos with animals, and I was just walking up the ramp at the airport as Dave (Poluga) was coming down, I just said ‘Hey! I think now would be a good time to start that Props 4 Paws’ and Dave, said ‘Yeah, let’s do it,’” Sebastian said. “From that moment on, it’s been ongoing.”
Sebastian said he and Poluga agreed the effort “is not about the airport or the pilots, but it’s about the community coming together to help sick and stray animals.”
Props 4 Paws was honored as “Animal Heroes” during the Aug. 26 Pawsibility Ball at the Hilton in Fairlawn for its dedication to feeding the animals in the Twinsburg Shelter’s care.