By Emily Williams-Robertshaw
For Herrick Siegel and fiancee Tiffany McCalmont, life hasn’t slowed down.
Each work within the medical trade. Siegel is an orthopedic surgeon at UAB and McCalmont runs her personal medical distribution firm.
In truth, life has grow to be busier, with McCalmont beginning a aspect enterprise promoting PPE.
“Not solely am I on the craziest calls in the midst of the night time, as a result of my individuals are the world over in Thailand,” she stated. “I’m planning a marriage in February, and now I’m planning a charity occasion.”
On Dec. 19, the Siegel-McCalmont house in Mountain Brook will likely be lit up for the primary Siegel’s Winter Wonderland.
The come-and-go occasion will profit Cedartown Animal Rescue, Schooling and Sterilization, higher referred to as Cares, based by Jeanie Waddell in Cedartown, Georgia.
Cares is a foster-based animal rescue and rehabilitation group that focuses on saving animals which can be up for euthanasia, educating the general public about animal care and aiding with low-cost sterilizations.
“I used to be so impressed by what they try this I made a decision I might throw a charity occasion in the midst of COVID-19, along with all the opposite stuff occurring in our lives,” McCalmont stated.
The occasion was impressed by the couple’s current adoption expertise with Cares, pushed by a current loss.
Through the pandemic, their 3-year-old German Shepherd, Rudy, handed away instantly of hepatic most cancers.
“Rudy was Herrick’s finest pal,” McCalmont stated. “Delilah, our different German Shepherd, who’s 2, she actually was lacking Rudy and was very unhappy.”
McCalmont stated it was clear that they wanted to discover a new pal, if not for his or her sake, then completely for Delilah.
Although that they had not rescued a canine earlier than, they favored the sound of rescuing a German Shepherd who could be a bit nearer to Delilah’s age.
“We’re accustomed to German Shepherds and I used to be a bit of nervous to rescue one,” she stated. “You by no means know with a shepherd what their habits is like and why they had been dropped off at (an animal management shelter).”
Nonetheless, by way of some on-line analysis they discovered and fell in love with a German Shepherd named Zulu, up for adoption by way of Cares.
The adoption course of by way of Cares is intensive.
“Once I sat all the way down to do the applying, I’m fairly certain it took me two hours simply to fill every part out,” McCalmont stated. The group cares deeply about the place their pets are positioned, together with following up with veterinary references for every applicant.
As soon as they had been accepted and knew Zulu could be theirs, they drove over to Georgia to select him up.
“He’s essentially the most loving, sweetest canine ever, you wouldn’t imagine it,” she stated, including that it’s a little bit of a feat for a German Shepherd to be as mild and appreciative as Zulu has been.
Because the couple realized extra about Cares, additionally they realized extra about their new canine and what Zulu had been by way of in the course of the pandemic.
“His mother couldn’t afford him,” McCalmont stated. “She misplaced her job on account of COVID-19 and couldn’t afford him.”
When he was dropped off at a kill shelter by the proprietor, he had been on a food regimen of solely corn as a result of the proprietor couldn’t afford to correctly feed him.
Cares rescues canine like Zulu and canine which can be far sicker. It has a historical past of rescuing canine out of combating rings, abuse conditions, neglectful environments and hoarding instances. In addition they work with cats and horses.
McClanton famous that she respects any shelter that rescues canine, however she witnessed folks at Cares going above and past the decision. With partnering veterinarians, Cares has handled animals struggling with damaged limbs, coronary heart worms, gun photographs, malnutrition and blindness, to call a couple of of their maladies.
Cares depends solely on donations from animal lovers reminiscent of McCalmont.
“Going to Cares was a very lovely factor for us to expertise,” she stated. “We didn’t notice that there have been folks on the market doing this work.”
She felt so impressed by what they’ve carried out that she felt the necessity to give again in any method she may and accomplish that in honor of each Rudy and Zulu.
“It was a tragedy for Rudy to have handed away, however it is usually a blessing to have gotten Zulu,” McCalmont stated.
“With out Cares, we wouldn’t have had somebody to assist fill this gap in our hearts so quickly,” she stated.
Fundraising within the Time of COVID
Although McCalmont admits that it’s an odd time to host an occasion, she made certain to contact Mountain Brook metropolis officers and take note of their solutions.
For security, McCalmont is internet hosting a “come-and-go” occasion. Individuals can cease by and see some lights, have some scorching chocolate and meet with Santa. There will likely be a large Santa’s Mailbox the place guests can drop off donations.
“I notice that the SEC championship will likely be on that very same day,” McCalmont stated. Subsequently, they plan to have an enormous display projector displaying the sport on their tennis courtroom.
“That method, if folks do come by, they received’t miss any a part of the sport,” she stated.
There additionally will likely be a digital silent public sale, out there on-line at 32auctions.com/SiegelsWinterWonderland.
“I feel the most effective half is that they will simply log into it on their telephones,” McCalmont stated. “There received’t be any pencils or paper.
The public sale is the primary that McCalmont has ever deliberate on her personal. It consists of sports activities memorabilia, a Porsche expertise at Barber Motorsports, coaching with Dominion Canine Coaching and different experiences and merchandise.
“Something for a superb trigger and to unfold some cheer is what my purpose is,” McCalmont stated.