Cornerstone Bank raises $5,000 for Good Shepherd

Friday, June 7, 2019
Good Shepherd Humane Society board president Jay Fusaro, left, accepts a $5,000 donation from Cornerstone Bank in Eureka Springs. Fusaro is pictured with Cornerstone assistant vice president Andrea Peterson and bank president Jason Tennant.
Samantha Jones/Carroll County News

By Samantha Jones

Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com

Cornerstone Bank has been working hard to help Good Shepherd Humane Society this year. Assistant vice president Andrea Peterson reported the bank has raised $5,000 for Good Shepherd since January.

"We're proud to be part of raising funds and helping with Good Shepherd," Peterson said.

Also a board member for Good Shepherd, Peterson said she's not the only person at Cornerstone dedicated to helping out at the shelter. Cornerstone was a corporate sponsor for Good Shepherd's Diamonds and Denim Ball in March, Peterson said, where some bank employees donated their time to help the event run smoothly.

"Some of our employees did their own volunteer work. They helped do the donations and worked the front door helping with check-ins," Peterson said.

"They did a great job," said Good Shepherd board president Jay Fusaro.

"They did," Peterson said, "and they're looking forward to helping with another event."

Cornerstone has helped Good Shepherd in various ways over the past six months, Peterson said, hosting a fundraiser at the bank's downtown parking lot, participating in the Mardi Gras Parade with the Krewe of Barkus, placing donation canisters at bank locations in March and offering employees a chance to wear jeans for $5 per day.

"We did that a couple of times a week for the months of March and April," Peterson said. "Of course, the majority of employees paid more than $5. Some of them made a really healthy donation, which I thought was nice."

Peterson said the bank periodically puts out donation canisters for Good Shepherd.

"That's so people can know they can come in and use them," Peterson said, "or they can come straight into the bank and say, 'I want to donate to Good Shepherd' and it puts it right into the account for donation."

Some of the Cornerstone's most valuable initiatives to benefit Good Shepherd brought awareness to everything the organization does in Carroll County, Peterson said. At the Mardi Gras Parade, she said, bank employees passed out lollipops with information on Good Shepherd and how to donate to the shelter.

"It's to let people know what this is for, that this is a local no-kill shelter," Peterson said. "Good Shepherd is a nonprofit organization supported solely by donations and fundraisers. We're grateful to be part of the community and help with fundraising and awareness."

She continued, "We had shelter employees bring some of the dogs up here to the bank to do some group pictures. It was fun to have the puppies in the lobby. They're cute."

Fusaro thanked Peterson for her dedication to Good Shepherd, saying the board is lucky to have her.

"We're very proud to have Andrea on the board as a representative of Cornerstone Bank," Fusaro said. "To have the long relationship with Cornerstone we have had they've been good to us and have believed in us. We've been very fortunate to have generous donors like Cornerstone Bank and others, and a very good fundraising team."

Diamonds and Denim Ball is one of Good Shepherd's most successful fundraisers of all time, Fusaro said, and there's more where that came from. Fundraisers are important, Fusaro said, because it costs $280,000 to run the shelter each year.

"It takes a lot of money to run the shelter," Fusaro said. "All our money comes from donations, fundraisers and the two thrift stores. It's really important we have very good corporate sponsors like Cornerstone Bank behind us. We have a good team that works very, very hard."

Peterson said she appreciates all the work shelter employees put in.

"They do a wonderful job. Their goal is to make sure these animals are all being taken care of," Peterson said. "They make sure these precious animals go to a good home. Together, this whole group is doing a great job. I'm proud to be part of it."

Peterson remembered when she was approached to join Good Shepherd's board, saying she didn't have to think about it too hard.

"I love animals. I have three little fluffy dogs myself," Peterson said. "I just adore animals, so I was like, 'Let's do it.' "

"[Peterson] is like a bulldog when it comes to raising money for Good Shepherd," said Cornerstone Bank president Jason Tennant. "She's a real advocate, and it's not because she's on the board. She was an advocate before she was even on the board."

Those interested in helping Good Shepherd, Fusaro said, can donate money, supplies or time.

"A good way to help Good Shepherd is to volunteer at the stores, especially the Berryville store," Fusaro said. "Four hours a week can make a big, big difference."

There has never been any question when it comes to Cornerstone helping Good Shepherd, Tennant said.

"For us, it's pretty obvious why we're involved," Tennant said. "What they do is important. We've got a bunch of good folks working hard. We know it's an important part of our community."

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