Each year, Gateway Pet Guardians chooses honorees to spotlight at the annual Soiree for Strays Gala. We look deeply at our volunteers and supporters and choose the person/family/organization that has extraordinarily helped us over the year (or more) make the biggest impact we could. We have four categories of honorees that we feel best summarize those people that support us so passionately: Volunteer(s) of the Year, Foster(s) of the Year, Humanitarian of the Year and Philanthropist of the Year.
These amazing contributors will be honored through a video at the annual Soiree for Strays Gala taking place on Friday, November 11 2016 at the Luminary on Cherokee. They will also be invited to participate throughout 2017 in a variety of other Gateway Pet Guardians’ events. Tickets are $40 in advance (www.gatewaypets.com/gala) or $45 at the door. Tickets include hor d’oeuvres, beer, wine, live entertainment and silent art auction inspired by our rescue work.
Without further ado, please help us in congratulating this year’s honorees:
Volunteers of the Year: GPG Program & Committee Leads
Fosters of the Year: Sarah and Brian Meyer
Humanitarian of the Year: Julia Mittelstadt
Philanthropist of the Year: Syberg Family
This post will spotlight our HUMANITARIAN of the Year!
HUMANITARIAN OF THE YEAR… JULIA MITTELSTADT
By day, our Humanitarian of the Year, Julia Mittelstadt is a real estate guru focusing on South St. Louis City. She knows everything there is to know about historic homes in the city we all love. By night (well, okay by day too), Julia is an animal rescuer, animal advocate, animal lover and overall humanitarian. She is one of Gateway Pet Guardians’ founders. She also helped found the Frenchtown Dog Park Association in Soulard. She not only cares for and loves animals in our community, she builds organizations to support them and their owners.
In early 200o’s, she began supporting the efforts of PJ Hightower. PJ was her pet sitter and would call Julia when she came across a litter of puppies or an injured animal. Julia happily and eagerly would take these displaced animals into her home and care for them until she found forever homes for them. In 2004, Julia and a few other local animal advocates came together and formally and legally organized PJ’s Pet Guardians (known to you as Gateway Pet Guardians) to further support PJ’s efforts. Since that time, Julia has served in every aspect of GPG. She has been instrumental in forging relationships with citizens and officials in our service area, building programs to support our community work, raising much needed funding and overall supporting GPG through volunteerism and fostering. (The number of animals she has fostered over the past 12 years is uncountable! Since 2011 though, she has directly housed 125 animals in her home!)
Each one of us would not be here (nor the animals we have rescued) if it was not for Julia Mittelstadt and her forward-thinking vision of Gateway Pet Guardians. She saw a need in the community and ran with it. She has helped build the incredible organization we are today. Her devotion, passion and inspiration is unmatched and is the reason we can save the lives we do. Thank you, Julia for your dedication to homeless animals each and every day.