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Johnny Birkitt Hero Award

Awarded to Dana Taylor at the 15th Annual Dog Jog and 5K Run

It is hard to enumerate all that Dana Taylor has done for the Richmond SPCA, and all the love she has shown to our animals, since she first became a volunteer in April 2011. We look forward to seeing Dana many times each week when she serves a Running Buddies volunteer, giving essential exercise and enrichment to dogs awaiting adoption. By participating in more than 400 Running Buddies shifts, we estimate Dana has run nearly 2,500 miles with dogs in our care and devoted nearly 800 hours of precious time. The Richmond SPCA has come to count on Dana as one of our leading volunteers to keep this successful enrichment program going. Dana's love of homeless dogs in need was most recently demonstrated when we took into our care dogs from a South Korean dog meat farm, and Dana was instrumental in their acclimation and rehabilitation process.

We thank Dana for her exemplary leadership as Captain of Team Running Buddies for the last five years and for always being one of our top fundraising individuals and teams. Her fundraising success is truly stellar, and this year, with her leadership, Team Running Buddies raised more than $11,000 for the Dog Jog and 5K Run, more than doubling their original goal of $5,000, and as an individual she raised more than $5,000. Her dedication and love means the world to our beloved animals and to the staff and Board of Directors of the Richmond SPCA. We are thrilled and honored to recognize Dana with this year’s Johnny Birkitt Hero Award.

The Johnny Birkitt Hero Award was established in 2007 to be given each year in memory of Johnny Birkitt, a remarkable and beloved young man who passed away that year and whose parents, family and friends chose to honor his memory by forming a team to participate in our Dog Jog. Johnny was a great animal lover, and the meaningful tribute of those who knew him has continued at each Dog Jog and 5K Run as a celebration of his life, and has continued to keep his memory alive. The award that bear's Johnny's name is given each year to the person or team that has displayed the greatest spirit for the cause of homeless animals.

Past Recipients of the Johnny Birkitt Hero Award

2016  Sarah Flynn Robb
2015  Kat Simons 
2014  Janice Akers 
2013  Rich Terrell 
2012  Sarah Sinsabaugh 
2011  John Birkitt, Sr. 
2010  Team Bank of America 
2009  Austin Story 
2008  Team Running Buddies™ 
2007  Team Johnny Birkitt 

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