Cultural icon, actress, singer, and animal welfare activist Doris Day died Monday at age 97.
In a statement obtained by the Associated Press, officials with the Doris Day Animal Foundation (DDAF) say Day recently contracted pneumonia, which resulted in her death.
Throughout her career, Day performed in dozens of movies and recorded hundreds of songs. She appeared in 1953’s “Calamity Jane,” 1956’s “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” and 1962’s “That Touch of Mink.”
»PREVIOUS REPORT: Actress Doris Day dies at 97
Day received her first and only Academy Award nomination for her performance in 1959’s “Pillow Talk,” in which she starred alongside Rock Hudson.
Day will be remembered for her many life accomplishments. But did you know that her foundation, DDAF, was also a contributor to a Clark County pet protection network?
Carolyn Hayes, the founder of Pets Uniting People Society (PUPS) in Clark County said Day’s foundation issued three grants to support the local organization.
“That meant so much to us. It just kind of gave us inspiration to keep going,” Hayes said. “She made us feel special, that our work was not going unnoticed, and that we were doing a good job for the animals and the people who loved them.”
Day’s foundation donated grants to the organization on three separate occasions, Hayes said. She donated $2,000 in 2013, $5,000 in 2014, and $2,500 in 2018. In total, the organization received $9,500.
A 2013 press release from DDAF says the grant went toward PUPS’ spay/neuter assistance program.
“‘When we learned about PUPS and its low-cost spay/neuter program, we wanted to help,’ Miss Day said from her home in Carmel, California. ‘We fund many chartiable 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations helping the animals and the people who love them. PUPS is doing good work, and we’re pleased to help.’”
Each time Hayes applied for a DDAF grant, she said she was asked to write a personalized letter to Day.
“That was what was really cool about her - she wanted a personal letter as far as what your goals were and what you were doing with the animals and how she could help,” Hayes said.
Although Hayes never met Day personally, she says she found a friend in her. She will remember Day for her kindness and generosity.
“She had such drive and she had such energy, and she projected that to people. That’s what was so amazing about her all through her life. She overcame so many obstacles but she was still a positive person.”
PUPS will tribute Day during its spring fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. May 31 at Springfield Country Club, 2315 Signal Hill Road.
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