Two significant events happened in 2013 and 2014 for Bob and Chic Miller and Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary, the place where the Millers have cared for thousands of formerly neglected, abused and injured animals over the last 30 years.
First, in 2013 the Millers gave into their accountant’s nagging and agreed for Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary to become a 501-c3 non-profit organization.
Second, they were finally convinced by their Cottonwood neighbor, Pete Stiglich, to allow him to form a committee to organize the farm’s very first fundraiser.
The non-profit status and fundraiser went hand in hand, because it meant that all contributions to Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary could now be tax-deductible.
The Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary fundraiser was held the evening of Sat., May 3, at the Cottonwood Community Center.
Hundreds of people showed up as a demonstration of their appreciation and support for the Millers’ lifetime of personal sacrifice as the couple cared for some of the north state’s most needy and vulnerable creatures.
From the smallest kittens and cooing pigeons to towering llamas, braying donkeys and galloping horses, the Millers have provided food, shelter, medical care, and a loving home for every animal that’s passed through their farm’s gates.
In addition to a spaghetti dinner, the fundraising evening was packed with festivities for all ages.
A wide assortment of raffle items were on display, ready for the lucky winners, who took home everything from original artwork, fine wines and hand-stitched quilts to gardening supplies, baskets of pet-care items and restaurant gift certificates.
Shasta County Board of Supervisors Les Baugh and Leonard Moty served as auctioneers for the live auction, where they sought the highest bidders for a moon-light hay ride and dinner for 20 donated by the event’s committee, as well as home-made desserts, such as aNewsCafe.com’s own Doni Chamberlain’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake, sold for $250.
Dave Muerer, representing State Senator Ted Gaines, presented the Millers with a formal certificate of appreciation.
And committee members Stiglich and Carla Jackson presented the Millers with a weather-proof sign with the new Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary logo, by artist Phil Fountain of San Francisco, to display at the farm.
And as a special treat, Alan Ernesto Phillips, of A Phillips Production, showed the video he’s worked on for months about the Millers and Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary. The film featured original music created and performed by former Redding resident Aaron Shively of the Chris Gardner Band, and some fellow musicians.
Bob and Chic Miller give credit for the event’s success to the hundreds who attended that night, and also thank the additional hundreds of individuals and businesses who donated auction items, services, party supplies and food to the event.
Major business donors included Foothill Distributing, the VCA Asher Animal Hospital and VCA Companion Hospital in Redding, and the VCA Gateway Animal Hospital in Anderson. Other significant donors were A Phillips Production, At Work Properties, Jackson Ranch for Dogs and aNewsCafe.com. (A complete list of all the donors will be on the Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary soon.)
The event also featured a 50/50 raffle, and the crowd burst into applause when the winner, Timothy Herman, a Shasta College student and musician with “Left Hook”, donated his money back to Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary.
With a sell-out crowd in attendance, the event raised nearly $14,000. All proceeds will go directly to the care of the animals at Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary.
At the end of the evening, Chic Miller fought back tears as she thanked everyone for their overwhelming support.
“I am so deeply moved by the amazing turn-out this evening, and for all your love and encouragement,” she said.
“You have no idea how much this means to Bob and me. We will be forever grateful to have you as our friends and supporters. Bob and I and all the animals thank you so very, very much.”
For more information, visit the Bella Vista Farms – Animal Sanctuary Facebook Page, or call Bob and Chic Miller at (530) 347-0544.
From Bella Vista Farms Animal Sanctuary press release.