Throughout her life, Sheila Ancona always had a great affection for dogs that were at pet rescue shelters.
Michael Ancona, president of Frank Ancona Honda at 1000 N. Rogers Road, Olathe, recalls a time when his mom adopted a three-legged dog for another person and when that person was unable to care for it, Shelia took ownership of the dog.
“She only had one dog that wasn’t rescued, which was her first dog,” Ancona said. “She had five others after that. She was completely about supporting charities and support of animals.”
Sheila Ancona, the wife of Frank Ancona, passed away in August, 2014, after a 2½-year battle with cancer.
The memory of her devotion to save and care for dogs that were in shelters remains vibrant at Frank Ancona Honda.
So when the dealership learned about an online, matching donation campaign to raise money for Great Plains SPCA, which is based in Merriam, it didn’t hesitate to join.
“It goes more to what she wanted,” Ancona said. “It is more about continuing her legacy.”
The online matching donation campaign ran from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
“RAZ Mobile (a mobile fundraising company) reached out to me and said do you have any corporate clients who would be interested in getting a matching donation program going,” said Valerie Jennings, CEO of JSMM & VBM, a digital agency that has worked with Frank Ancona Honda for four years. “I immediately thought of Frank Ancona Honda, knowing that Frank Ancona’s wife, who passed away, was an animal advocate.
“I connected the two together. What we did was create social media content that drove people to the designated campaign page for Great Plains SPCA.”
Frank Ancona Honda was one of several businesses throughout the Kansas City area that participated in the month-long campaign.
The monetary goal for Great Plains SPCA was to raise $500,000 – $200,000 of which would be raised online.
Alisha Thomson, chief of staff at Great Plains SPCA, sent an email to Frank Ancona Honda a week after the online donation campaign ended that stated the goals were not only met, but exceeded.
The role Frank Ancona Honda played in it would have thrilled Sheila because the money raised will provide Great Plains SPCA, a no-kill shelter, more resources to help place dogs in homes.
“For as long as Frank can remember, instead of going out and getting a registered dog, she would adopt dogs and take them into her home and care for them,” said David Heitman, general sales manager at Frank Ancona Honda. “We latched onto this charity because of Sheila’s history with animal shelters. She always donated regularly to the pet shelters throughout her life.
“She would adopt dogs that needed constant attention and care. It was her way of doing her part to take care of dogs that needed adoption and rescuing. She did it her whole life. She was a huge advocate of rescuing dogs.”
Each year, Frank Ancona Honda quietly donates money to various charities, schools and churches throughout the city, ranging from the Olathe North High School band to St. Mark Church to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation to the Salvation Army.
“We have always been very giving in the charity aspect,” Heitman said. “We always want to try to give back.”
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