The Town Crier’s Ernie Maxwell Community Spirit Award 2016 contest is over and though all three sets of nominees — Jerry Holldber, Janet Murasko/Robert Hewitt and Christina Nordella — received numerous votes, the overwhelming victors were Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild volunteers Murasko and Hewitt.
The two have stood at the helm of Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild for at least five years.
Janice keeps Sadie’s Clinic going where a vet visits the Hill monthly, offering low-cost services without pet owners having to drive off the Hill.
As a licensed dog trainer, Janice uses those skills to make ARF dogs more adoptable. She writes ARF’s monthly newsletter offering helpful tips to pet owners.
She spends endless hours, often single-handedly, keeping ARF going and finding temporary foster homes for animals found or left abandoned on the Hill.
Robert drives his truck around searching for and tracking lost pets when calls come in. He also acts as the Sadie’s Clinic vet assistant and has the scratches on his arms to prove it. He also volunteers as a CSA 38 Advisory Council member and president of the Pine Cove Water District board.
The couple started the Paws for Rhythm and Brews fundraiser for ARF last year. Janice, along with Sheila Boynton, also created the fundraiser to nominate a pet as mayor that raised more than $30,000.
Their names will be added to the plaque at the Town Crier office. The couple will be in two Fourth of July Parade entries. They will ride in the Town Crier Fourth of July Parade entry, a car owned and driven by Don Parker, and also in the ARF parade entry.