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Downey’s legacy: advocating for animal welfare and adoptions

Downey’s legacy: advocating for animal welfare and adoptions

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Our cover features Bob and Sheri Downey with their 10th boxer, SamE, whom they adopted from the Capital Humane Society in 2012. Downey became president and CEO at CHS on Sheri’s birthday, Jan. 30, 1984, and he will retire on their 41st wedding anniversary, June 30, after a 36-plus year career at the Society.

Downey has been a local champion in raising awareness for animal welfare and making pet adoptions mainstream. Early on, he testified before the Nebraska Unicameral to help make dog and cock fighting illegal in Nebraska. Former State Sen. Don Wesely helped pass legislation making both a felony.

Downey makes weekly appearances on channels 10/11 and on radio to introduce pets available for adoption.

One of his most ambitious and successful projects was bringing the Pieloch Pet Adoption Center (also on the cover) to fruition. The center added 15,000 square feet, enabling the Society to hold animals longer and adopt more of them out.

Downey will hand the leash to Shannon Martin-Roebuck, who officially takes over as new president and CEO July 1. See more details in Jodi Fuson’s cover story on this website. We thank John F. Keller for shooting this month's cover photo.

Giving is more important than ever

May 28 is the ninth annual Give to Lincoln Day. This online event, which encourages donations to support local nonprofits and causes, is more important now than ever before due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Every participating nonprofit organization will receive a proportional share of a $500,000 match fund based upon its percentage of total dollars raised. Give to Lincoln Day 2020 has the largest match fund in the event’s history, thanks to a generous gift from West Gate Bank and several other supporting sponsors. See more details on this site.

Another opportunity to help during this time of need is offered by the Nebraska Cultural Endowment. This endowed fund supports the arts and humanities endlessly, even through uncertain times. It consists of privately supported and publicly matched resources to sustain and amplify the programs and grants funded by Humanities Nebraska and the Nebraska Arts Council. Learn more in Clover Frederick's story on this site.

In addition, the Lincoln Parks Foundation has created a new Cascade Honor Roll program, which offers an opportunity to purchase an inscribed brick to recognize educators as part of the recently announced $1.6 million campaign to restore Cascade Fountain. See the details on this website.

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