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Standing tall against animal hunger
June 05, 2013 Jerry Purvis   
The familiar giraffe head that for years stood in front of the Wildlife World building in Gering is now in the publicity business, helping promote Skipper’s Cupboard.

“It’s kind of a landmark,” said co-director Becky Morgheim. “We’ll be taking it to our fundraiser and other events to draw attention to our mission.”

Co-director Steve Morgheim agreed, saying they’re not in the business of feeding giraffes. However it’s a symbol of what the organization is about – “Stand tall against animal hunger.”

Formed in 2009, Skipper’s Cupboard serves the area as an animal food pantry. When pet owners sometimes struggle with their personal finances, there might not be enough to feed their four-footed companions.

The name comes from Becky’s childhood pet and friend, Skipper. “He was my buddy and playmate for a lot of years before I went to school,” she said. “I wanted to be sure other animals would have a good life.”

In its first four years, Skipper’s Cupboard has served 455 individual clients in 28 towns in eight counties around the Panhandle and eastern Wyoming areas. And strictly through donations, they’ve provided almost 40,000 pounds of dog and cat food.

“We hear so many heartbreaking stories because pets are so important to people,” Steve said. “We deliver for many people who are disabled or can’t get into town often.”

Steve said when Skipper’s Cupboard was founded, they had no idea it would grow that much. They were receiving calls as soon as they started.

“We’re at a point now where people know we’re going to stay and we can start collaborating with other animal rescue groups,” Steve said. “When you start networking, you find out you can help each other out and make a bigger impact.”

Coming up on Saturday, June 29 is the second annual Smores Galore event in the Walmart parking lot from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Smores are individually wrapped for a $1 donation to their work.

“Our volunteers did a fantastic joy for our first event last year,” Becky said. “We made about three times the amount of donations we had expected. It was just a great event and we got some new clients as well.”

Steve said that event gave them lots of “top of mind” publicity and people remembered their work during the Christmas season.

More information on Skipper’s Cupboard is available via email from snickersdad@charter.net. And watch for the big giraffe in the Oregon Trail Days parade on July 13.

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