Local humane society kicks off 100th-anniversary celebration


HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Not many people let alone organizations can say they’ve celebrated their 100th anniversary or birthday, but the Humane Society of Washington County is kicking off their centennial celebration by honoring their work this year and the years leading up to this monumental celebration.

Executive Director Colin Berry explained that the celebration held at the Humane Society of Washington County serves as the opening event for a year-long celebration. Staff from HSWC buried a time capsule that will be opened in 2071 for the Humane Society of Washington County’s 150th anniversary.

“Today is really just a kickoff to a century of helping and saving animals here in Washington County,” Berry said. “Over the last 100 years, we’ve literally saved 10s of 1,000s of animals here in Washington County. So we, of course, are preparing for the next 100 years.”

Noel Fridgen, Development and Communications Manager, explained that the items buried in the time capsule will give the staff in 2071 a glimpse into what the organization, as well as the world, experienced in 2021. She says the time capsule will showcase items from the centennial celebration while also providing a look into the history of the organization and what brought them to the present day.

“So in the time capsule, we are burying things that represent HSWC in 2021. So we’re burying an HSWC facemask as well as some other things that kind of just tell our story. So we’re burying an annual report that tells the information about how we’ve conquered the year 2020 that we just came out of,” Fridgen explained. “We’re also burying a staff photo, a card written by our executive director and signed by all of the staff. It’s just a bunch of different items like that that really will show them the staff of 2071 what we were doing today in 2021.”

The time capsule will also include a celebratory animal tag engraved for the centennial celebration, an invitation to the 100th Anniversary Gala, which will be held on November 13th, a flash drive containing a documentary about the organization, as well as a list of all of the animals currently at the shelter as of November 3rd when the capsule was buried.

Berry says the Humane Society of Washington County would not have been able to reach their centennial celebration without the support of their volunteers and the community. She expressed her gratitude and asked the staff and community members who attended the time capsule dedication to contribute to the burial of the slice of history.

“At this shelter, we have 50 employees but it is not just the employees who make this a success. It is the volunteers, the supporters foster families out in the communities, local businesses who support our work and it’s really that we all have to come together in order to save so many animals every year,” Berry said.

The Humane Society of Washington County will be celebrating its 100th anniversary with different events throughout the end of this year and into next year. For more information about the centennial celebration or how to support the Humane Society of Washington County, please visit their website.

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