Aylesford group finalists in competition

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An Aylesford animal shelter has been named one of 30 finalists from across the country for this year's Aviva Community Fund competition.

A Shelter for H.A.R.T. is one of four Nova Scotia finalists for the opportunity to receive up to $50,000. The finalists were chosen based on public votes via the Internet and all 30 across the country are guaranteed $5,000.

Laurie Wheeler of Aylesford, president and founder of the Homeless Animal Rescue Team, is thrilled with the results.

"It's meant a lot of work, but hopefully, it'll be worth it,” she said. “It already has been so far. Even the $5,000 we're guaranteed now will make a difference."

A Shelter for HART, located on New Road in Aylesford, will mark its fifth anniversary this February, as mainly a cat rescue facility.

"Myself, I mostly take in orphan cats or kittens," she said.

"Our goal is to build a proper shelter, whether we win the contest or not. We entered the contest hoping to earn the smallest category," and the ultimate prize of $50,000.

HART "received the most votes in our category, which is worth 15 per cent of the total. The rest, the panel of judges will look at and decide,” she said.

The finalists were announced on Dec. 17.

"It's beyond words, I'm really happy and scared and nervous at the same time," Wheeler said.

The judging will take place from Dec. 20 to Jan. 28, with the winners in each of the three categories announced Jan. 29. 

"It's been a lot of hard work, but wow! I feel like I spent the last 10 days on the computer and barely went to bed."

Organizations: Shelter for H.A.R.T., Aviva Community Fund

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, New Road

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