LETTER TO THE EDITOR: They are at it again! Suncoast Humane Society is building the future

November 20, 2020
By Olivia Cameron

To the Editor:
Long term Suncoast Humane Society supporters, Elsa and Peter Soderberg, take on the invaluable role of Capital Campaign Chairs to champion the successful build of an environmentally-conscious, visionary animal welfare campus.
Last spring, when COVID-19 caused the closure of businesses and nonprofits alike, the Soderbergs leapt to the aid of Suncoast Humane Society knowing the closure of the thrift stores would cause financial harm to the agency’s work. They swiftly offered a robust match gift. Their leadership galvanized the community and encouraged donations beyond the original goal. Their insight and compassion helped buoy the agency during the early stages of crisis with the pandemic. 
They are at it again. 
Throughout the stay-at-home orders, and as businesses slowly were able to open their doors, the Soderbergs kept in close contact with Suncoast Humane Society’s Board of Trustees. What previously was assumed to be a straight path forward to build a modern shelter for twelve million dollars became worrisome, and, a likely impossibility. The challenges to raise operating monies and capital campaign monies were too great and the previous goal was too ambitious. The Board made the decision to scale back the cost of the building project while continuing to be able meet the needs of the numbers of animals and people who need help in our Suncoast community.  The past several months became dedicated to finding the solution to imminent need for a new facility in the right price point. 
We have not only met the imperative need to reduce the cost of building a new shelter, we have designed a campus that is in harmony with flora and fauna which includes play yards and walking trails. We have done this while staying rooted in a deep commitment to enhancing the emotional well-being of the animals we care for, and expanding opportunities to support people in their love of their pets.  
The new Suncoast Humane Society campus will be home to a shelter, a clinic and a community center built on 11.5 acres of land purchased in 2015. The new campus will be located on the corner of San Casa Drive and Worth Avenue in Englewood and will have: two cat pods, forty dog runs, a 3,200 square foot clinic for vaccinations, testing and surgery, and a 6,500 square foot community center with indoor and outdoor meeting space and acres of walking trails.
The President of Suncoast Humane Society Board of Trustees, Jeff Moore, also expressed how grateful we are to the Soderbergs for all they have done for our organization, and couldn’t be more appreciative of this next act of greatness. They are true champions for Suncoast Humane Society.
“We are all in. This project means so much to the community and the pets. The conditions at the current facility are dismal. It is time to get this thing built!” expressed Peter and Elsa Soderberg with enthusiasm. 
To learn more about Suncoast Humane Society’s capital campaign and how you can help, contact Director of Development, Terry Marks at tmarks@humane.org. To learn more about Suncoast Humane Society’s programs, services and animals available to adopt or foster, please visit www.humane.org. 
Maureen O’Nell 
Chief Executive Officer
Suncoast Humane Society