“In Memory of Althea,
the Beloved Calico Cat of Maho Bay Camp”
Today I want to share to a meaningful charitable cause and initiated by a generous and thoughtful former Maho Bay guest, Cathey Beard. Cathey, who first visited St. John in the early 80’s and later stayed at Maho Bay Camps with her children, has set up a charitable fund “In Memory of Althea, Beloved Calico of Maho Bay Camps”, in honor of Althea who many guests came to love while staying at Maho. Sadly, Althea passed away a few months after Maho’s closing. All donations will benefit the non-profit St. John Animal Care Center (ACC), going towards care of the islands cats.
The ACC states “the money raised from the “In memory of Althea” fund will help us catch/feed/spay & neuter/medicate many of the islands stray cats. And not just the free roaming cats, but the cats that the shelter puts up for adoption. One of the shelters biggest expenses is supplying the feeding stations on island. Last year the ACC caught 321 cats and had them fixed. Our main goal is population control.”
You may donate to Cathey’s ACC fundraiser online at Razoo.com, linked here.
Not only has Cathey visited Maho and St. John on at least seven trips over the years, but her daughter Lauren fell in love with the island too and came down as a 4-hour worker for a couple of summers at Maho Bay Camp. Cathey’s feelings about the specialness of her time at Maho Bay Camp captures a collective sentiment:
“Maho to me is HEAVEN!! For a marine biologist who grew up in Miami and the Florida Keys – for a frustrated scuba diver who can only snorkel because of ear problems – to someone who just thrives on sand, sea, sunrises & sunsets – it was always perfect!! To be able to walk off a beautiful beach into crystal clear water to see glorious reef fish and corals – it was just “Heaven on Earth” to me!! I am so praying that heaven is just like Maho when the time comes too!! We visited Annaberg Ruins on New Year’s Day one year and saw a huge pod of dolphins down below. One dolphin did couple of flips out of the water in front of a small boat – I’m sure those people couldn’t believe it!
I want to wholeheartedly thank Cathey for creating this fund for the ACC and the island cats on her own time! It was her intention to create a positive way to respond to the sadness of losing Maho Bay Camps and of losing Althea as well. This is Cathey’s third summer fostering cats and kittens at her local animal shelter, and her work inspired the idea for the In Memory of Althea Fund. She knows there is always a tremendous need for help, homes and funding! And while she knows firsthand the beauty of St. John, it is also a harsh environment for homeless animals trying to fend for themselves. And it seems Althea was doing just that for a while. Cathey said she can’t stand to think of helpless animals suffering in this challenging environment.
We need more people like Cathey who respond to situations with thought, compassion and inclusion of others (human and animal!), versus simply reacting to what happens around us. All it takes is one person who feels strongly about doing something good to make a big impact, especially on St. John.
Or you can help by sharing the donation page with friends who you know would like to help!
Thanks from both of us!!