FRANKLIN TWP. — Erin Jacobs died March 6, 2015, but her love of animals and her desire to give the speechless a voice remains very much alive, thanks to family and friends.
Jacobs’ family organized a memorial fundraiser called Friday for Fluff on March 4 with the intention of donating all proceeds to Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge, a no-kill animal shelter.
To the surprise of the family and the shelter, over 300 people attended the event, raising $6,000.
“We were so thrilled,” said Cordie Braun, fundraising director at Blue Chip. “We do not make that much in one fundraiser.”
A former Wilkes-Barre resident, Jacobs was 36 years old when she died from a brain aneurysm. Her fun-loving nature and giving personality are remembered by all who worked with her.
“She was a free spirit,” said Jacobs’ sister, Nancy Jacobs. “She would take her shirt off her back and give it to you. She was that kind of person.”
Those types of memories are what attracted so many people to the event.
“She (Erin) worked at Kmart when she was 16,” Nancy said. “There were people that came to the benefit who knew her back then. We were surprised by the love and support from the community.”
The event was held at the Riverside Cafe on Old River Road in Wilkes-Barre. Guests enjoyed donated food and drinks and could purchase orange T-shirts, baskets and raffles. The Jacobs family plans to make the fundraiser an annual event.
“It was magical,” Nancy said. “You could feel the love in the room.”
The event name, Friday for Fluff, was derived from Erin’s nickname, Fluff.
“She used to say, ‘I’m not fat; I’m fluffy,’” Nancy said.
The young woman had a reputation for having a soft spot for animals.
“She (Erin) worked at Mohegan Sun (Pocono, in Plains Township),” Nancy said. “She would frequently stop at the SPCA. She had a kindred feeling with animals. She had two dogs and four cats.”
Nancy is not sure if Erin ever visited Blue Chip Farm but knows her sister would have supported the facility.
“They take in animals that people have thrown away,” Nancy said.
Blue Chip Farm Animal Refuge has operated as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization for the past 15 years.
The donation will help the shelter offset some of its veterinary bills which total about $200,000 annually, Braun said.
“Our animals are micro-chipped, spayed and neutered, vaccinations and other medical needs animals may have when they arrive,” Braun said.
Situations such as Red, a 1-year-old beagle puppy who arrived at the shelter with a severely injured leg, are all too familiar, Braun said.
Several veterinarians recommended removing Red’s damaged leg, she said. But Marge Bart, the shelter owner, would not allow the leg to be amputated. Instead, Bart took a chance and had a veterinarian try to save the puppy’s leg. The beagle has made a full recovery.
Reach Eileen Godin at 570-991-6387 or on Twitter @TLNews.