Eureka’s Next Top Doggo: Equity Bank’s doggie beauty pageant benefits GSHS
The contestants at Equity Bank’s beauty pageant on Friday, Aug. 25, aren’t seeking world peace. All they want is a belly rub and a milk bone.
The bank hosted a doggie beauty pageant as part of its initiative to help Good Shepherd Humane Society find homes for animals in need, asking participants to donate to the shelter in lieu of an entry fee. Elizabeth Kelly, president of the Eureka Springs Equity Bank branch, said the event featured a bake sale with treats for humans and animals.
“They’re all homemade things by our employees,” Kelly said. “We have all homemade, natural ingredients for our four-legged friends.”
Even better, Kelly said, all proceeds from the bake sale went to Good Shepherd.
“We want forever families for those pets who haven’t found one yet,” Kelly said. “This helps make that happen.”
Ken Pownall, who brought his Great Pyrenees, Blue, to the pageant, said he and Blue were excited to be part of the event. Pownall described Blue’s passion for the St. Louis Cardinals, which was on display from his head to his feet.
“I thought, ‘Why not dress him up a little bit and take him out?’” Pownall said, referring to the Cardinals T-shirt, hat and socks on his pup. “We were trying on all his outfits last night. When I took it off, he turned around and looked at me like he was all dressed up with no place to go. He was ready to go this morning.”
Blue was raised to be a show dog, Pownall said.
“He’s very gentle, very loving, and he loves seeing the other dogs,” Pownall said. “He’s a rescue dog. We got him from Mountain Home. He loves being petted, and he loves the Cardinals.”
What is Blue’s favorite thing about the Cardinals?
“Winning,” Pownall said. “He’s a winning dog.”
For Andrea Colvin, it was a no-brainer to bring her German Shepherd-Husky mix Lilah to the pageant.
“She gets very excited. She loves to go. She loves to ride in the car,” Colvin said. “She loves to go swimming. She loves to socialize. She’s a very sociable dog. I thought it would be something fun we could do instead of sitting home, and we made a donation to Good Shepherd Humane Society, which is a good cause.”
Bonnie Pierson said her dog Joie is familiar with the bank. Joie loves going to the bank, Pierson said, so it made sense to bring him to the pageant.
“He’s been coming to the bank since he was just a few years old,” Pierson said. “They know him well. I thought I had to bring him.”
Having Joie around, Pierson said, always makes her happy.
“His name means ‘extreme joy and pleasure.’ It fits him,” Pierson said. “He doesn’t have a talent, he doesn’t have a costume, so we’ll go for Miss Congeniality. “
The panel of judges included Melissa Greene, Dee Bright and Good Shepherd’s board president, Jay Fusaro. Greene, who volunteers at the Doggie Thrift Store in Eureka Springs, said she was pleased to be part of the event.
“I love dogs, and this benefits Good Shepherd,” Greene said. “It also helps with the community to kind of introduce Equity Bank as a dog-friendly bank, and the animals are all getting along. They’re just darling, dressed up as cute as can be.”
It’s important, Greene said, that people realize how much work Good Shepherd does to help homeless animals in Carroll County.
“They help abandoned, abused animals have a refuge where they have a chance to have a better life,” Greene said. “Support your local humane society.”
Kelley said she was excited to see so many turn out for the event, saying she thought it was a fun way to spend a Friday morning.
“It’s a Eureka event like none other, with entrances as varied as our people. You can see that,” Kelly said.
For the months of August and September, Kelly said, the bank is donating $25 to Good Shepherd for every new account opened. The bank is also a drop-off point for any needed supplies on the shelter’s wish list, she said.
“We encourage anybody to come by. We have a wish list with things like dog food, cat food and duct tape,” Kelly said. “They have a lot of needs, things that are really expensive like ink cartridges. We hope customers and non-customers will come see us to the end of September to help build those supplies up.”
So far, she said, the community’s response has been overwhelming.
“It has just been awesome and building up steam. People really care about their animals and they care about those animals who haven’t found homes yet,” Kelly said. “It’s really exciting for all our partners here at the bank to support that.”
She continued, “Our community is just incredibly generous. We’ve seen that generosity already and know we’re going to have a truckload of stuff for Good Shepherd by Sept. 30. We hope to have a big check for them at the end of the campaign, too.”
Any kind of donation helps Good Shepherd keep going, Fusaro said.
“It takes a lot of pressure off our operating expenses when people donate things we can use, like food or cleaning supplies,” Fusaro said. “That helps us out. We just want to thank Equity Bank for supporting Good Shepherd.”