Johnny Birkitt Hero Award
Awarded to Michael Hughes at the 16th Annual Dog Jog and 5K Run
Homeless animals have a heroic friend in Michael Hughes, who
is the Leader of the Pack at Holiday Barn Pet Resorts and the 2018 recipient of
the Johnny Birkitt Hero Award.
It was five years ago that Michael and Holiday Barn Pet
Resorts stepped into the role of title sponsor of the Richmond SPCA’s annual
Dog Jog and 5K Run, but Michael’s unwavering support of the Richmond SPCA goes
much farther back. Since 2002 Michael has served on this organization’s Board
of Directors, as his father Emerson does as well, and Michael’s leadership has
always been thoughtful and strategic. Whether he is providing astute guidance
or stepping in to directly solve a problem, such as the times that he has
opened the kennels at Holiday Barn to house homeless animals—guaranteeing there
would be no interruption in lifesaving—when our own kennels were being
renovated, Michael is always there for homeless animals. From delivering
hundreds of pounds of kibble to ensure every bowl at the Richmond SPCA will be
filled to serving on the planning committee of the Dog Jog to ensure we fill
every sponsorship and vendor space, he can always be counted on.
Michael is a leader and an inspiration and we are delighted
to recognize him 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 bears 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
||Sarah Flynn Robb
||John Birkitt, Sr.
||Team Bank of America
||Team Running Buddies™
||Team Johnny Birkitt