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Guam Animals in Need, a nonprofit animal shelter, is sharing an unexpected monetary windfall with another worthy cause, according to GAIN volunteers.

The shelter, the only animal humane society on Guam, won second place and $500 in an annual Christmas tree decoration contest, open only to local nonprofit organizations, that is sponsored by a local doctor.

The shelter, which rescued about 5,000 homeless or abused animals in 2006, subsists solely through donations and fundraisers according to volunteer secretary Shirley Miller.

“This was like found money,” Miller said. “So we wanted to do something really special with it.”

That something special was splitting the proceeds with the Frank Cable Heroes Fund. The not-for-profit fund helps families of sailors injured in the Dec. 1 steam leak on the Guam-based USS Frank Cable. The ship’s crew decorated the tree next to GAIN’s.

Cable sailors have shown “their support of us by providing maintenance at the shelter, volunteering and even adopting pets,” Miller said. “In light of the accident, we thought this would be a nice gesture.”

Eight sailors were injured in the steam leak while the ship was in Guam. Two of the sailors were treated and released the day of the accident at U.S. Naval Hospital Guam.

The remaining six sailors were flown via Hawaii to Brooke, the Defense Department’s only burn treatment facility, where Seaman Jack B. Valentine died Dec. 7.

About a week after the incident, the Lutheran Church of Guam established the Frank Cable Heroes Fund to help families that traveled to Texas to be with their injured sailors, said church Pastor Jeff Johnson. Navy regulations bar fundraising for individuals, Johnson said.

Several Cable sailors are part of the church’s congregation. So Johnson said the church was happy to help when the ship’s chaplain asked the church to establish the fund.

As of Dec. 31, the church had raised more than $33,400, Johnson said.

Those wishing to donate to the Frank Cable Heroes Fund can drop off or mail donations to the Lutheran Church of Guam at 787 W. Marine Corps Drive, Hagatna, Guam 96910.

Those wishing to donate to GAIN can make an electronic donation at www.guamanimals.org/ or by mail to PO Box 22365, Barrigada, GU 96921.


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