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About Saving Gracie

Our Mission

At Saving Gracie, our mission is simple and it comes from the heart: We give pets a second chance at life.

Saving Gracie is a non-profit organization (501c3) whose goal is to provide life-saving treatment to pets. We seek to help save pets whose families are facing the heartbreak of economic euthanasia because they can’t afford medical care.

Your donation will help Saving Gracie provide life-saving medical care for pets in need. If you would like to donate to Saving Gracie, please visit our donate page, use the button below or contact us to learn about alternative donation options such as sponsorship or attending one of our events.

How We Help

Saving Gracie raises funds through kind and generous donations and by hosting events. The money we raise is used in an effort to support pet owners who are unable to afford life-saving medical care for their pets.

“Shortly after I submitted Saving Gracie’s Apply for Help online form, they called my vet and I was approved!!! Chippy’s emergency surgery was scheduled, completed and he is fully recovered. Without saving Gracie, I could not have afforded to save his life.”

If you would like to discuss your pet’s eligibility for assistance through Saving Gracie, please fill out our Apply for Help form and your veterinarian’s office will contact you.

If you have questions or would like to hear about other ways to donate please contact us.

Meet Our Board Members

Saving Gracie Lisa and Gracie Professional Photo
Lisa Hilas, Executive Director and Founder

Lisa Hilas, Executive Director and Founder of Saving Gracie, seeks to help save pets whose families are facing the heartbreak of euthanasia because they can’t afford medical care.

Inspired by her love for her miniature Australian Shepherd, Gracie, Lisa started this angel fund to help Solano County pets get get the care they need to become healthy again so they can enjoy long, happy lives with their families.

Lisa’s other community activities include Past President of Soroptimist International of Vacaville, Current President of On Stage Vacaville and Current Board Member of VFW Auxiliary Post 7244.

Gracie Hilas
Gracie Hilas, Director of Squirrel Chasing

Hi! I am a tri-colored miniature Australian Shepherd and I am the inspiration for the Saving Gracie Angel Fund. I was born in February of 2013 and came in to Lisa’s life as a birthday gift from her husband in April.

I am loving, caring and want all fur babies to be healthy and happy in their homes where they belong. I am very grateful to all the support the foundation and I have received. When I’m not helping pets in the foundation, I like to chase squirrels, go on walks and treats are always appreciated!

MIchelle Trippi
Michelle Trippi, Vice President

Michelle, Saving Gracie’s VP, and her husband, Sean, live in Downtown Vacaville with their Labrador Retrievers, Zelda and Rusty along with their 2 cats, Lucky and Bean, the latter an LNU Complex fire rescue kitty. Michelle, is the CCO and co-founder of Y2 Creative Solutions, a web design and development agency specializing in custom solutions for nonprofit organizations and small businesses, locally and nationally.

Michelle is ecstatic to support Saving Gracie and people avoid the heartbreak of losing their furry family members. She previously served as Marketing Chair of the Vacaville Public Education Foundation, as the Former Publisher and Editor of Solano and Yolo’s Community Parent Newspaper, current Strategic Marketing Analyst for Adobe’s Creating Change Foundation, and teaches Adobe CC design skills to at-risk, previously incarcerated and gang involved youth.

Michelle can be found in the mountains, at the beach, painting, sketching, and working on her 1889 home…a never-ending project.

Nancy Bennett
Nancy Bennett, Secretary

Nancy, the acting Secretary of Saving Gracie, is a native of San Francisco who moved to Vacaville on 2014. She has a son, a daughter and 5 grandsons who all have and love their furry friends. As a founding member of Saving Gracie, she realizes what it’s like when a financial situation doesn’t allow you to provide for your pet.

Saving Gracie is the answer to the prayers of many families and she is proud to be a part of our mission. Nancy other community activities include Current Board Member of Soroptimist International of Vacaville and Current Treasurer of On Stage Vacaville.

LuAnn Hefner
LuAnn Hefner, Treasurer

LuAnn, originally from North Carolina, moved to California and is now retired from a business she owned in Vacaville for many years and serves as Saving Gracie’s Treasurer.

LuAnn enjoys her grandkids, her puppy dog and painting. LuAnn is also active in Soroptimist International of Vacaville.

Michelle Strand
Michelle Strand

Michelle is a long-term resident of Vacaville, born at Travis Air Force Base and a graduate of Vacaville High School. While raising two children she established a local construction equipment company with her husband, Rick. Michelle, the CEO of I80 Forklift, is connected to several local non-profits and has as big of a heart for people as she does animals.

Michelle has a huge passion for serving in the community through her volunteer work and company sponsorships. She serves as the President of the Opportunity House Homeless Shelter in Vacaville, Fundraising Chair of the Boys and Girls Chocolate Gala, and is the Past President of Soroptimist International of Vacaville Twilight Club.

Beth Rowe
Beth Rowe

A Vacaville resident since 2013, Beth, a Financial Advisor for Edward Jones in Vacaville, is blessed with 4 children who’s ages range from 20 years old to 5-year-old twins. Beth’s family, including her husband, retired USAF after 21 years of service, feel fortunate to be active members in our tight-knit community.

Beth, a recipient of John Garamendi’s 2019 Solano County Woman of the Year, also gives back to our local community through her service in several nonprofits. She served as the Past President of Soroptimist International of Vacaville and is a Current Board Member of VFW Auxiliary Post 7244. When her family is not serving the community, you will find them playing on the farm and visiting local parks.

Dawn Shepherd
Dawn Shepherd

Dawn Shepherd, a resident of Vacaville since 1987, has been with Saving Gracie since its first fundraiser. Dawn is the Current Property/Evidence Manager for the Fairfield Police Department, a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) volunteer, a former VP of Soroptimist International of Vacaville, a former Board Member of the Fairfield Police Activities League (PAL), and is the current President of the Solano First Credit Union Board of Directors.

Dawn is proud to be a part of a non-profit that cares so much for animals and the pet families that care for them.

Tina Chechourka Board Member
Tina Chechourka

Tina and her husband, Joe, have one daughter, Shelby…but her family doesn’t stop there! They have three dogs (Zoey, Nicholas and Ginger), three horses and a 21 year old cat. After spending 34-1/2 years in public service with the City of Napa and the Vallejo Police Department, Tina retired for a few days before she took a position as a Volunteer Coordinator for Solano County and currently serves as the Volunteer Coordinator with the Napa Police Department.

Tina, a member of Soroptimist International of Vacaville, is a faithful Saints fan, enjoys riding and competing with her horses along with Shelby, as well as golfing, photography, baking, and time at the ocean with her beloved, Joe.

Suzanne Clark
Suzanne Clark

Suzanne, retired Co-founder and Publisher of S & J Advertising, is a life-long pet owner of all kinds of fur babies that range from cats and dogs to horses, cows and even donkeys! Married for 42 years, family is very important to her and she enjoys the company of her three children and four grandchildren.

Suzanne has a lifetime record of public service committing 9 years to 4H, 19 years to Soroptimist International of Vacaville one of which she served as President, a Vacaville Housing and Redevelopment Commissioner, and a Court Appointed Special Advocate(CASA). A resident of Vacaville since 1971, she brings with her a wealth of knowledge of our community.

Dolores Conroy
Dolores “Dee” Conroy

Dolores, a resident of Vacaville since 1969, has worked as an accountant and a tax preparer for over 20 years at her business Dee’s Tax and Bookkeeping. She has held the position of President with Vacaville’s VFW Auxiliary 7244 since 2006.

Leticia Shaw
Leticia Shaw

After a 13-year career in Tech Support and Network Administration for the corporate and government sectors, and following the birth of her daughter in 2004, Leticia founded Shaw Web Designs. In 2018, she co-founded Y2 Creative Solutions, a web design, and development company in Vacaville, and is the company’s CEO and Development Director.

Enjoying the challenges created by the evolution of web design and development, Leticia is continuously honing her skills, keeping up to date through webinars, networking, conferences, and online training, including the local WordCamp conference for WordPress users and developers. Leticia’s extensive work experience serving local nonprofit organizations, her love of animals, and her compassion for those in need, is the reason she enjoys being of service to the Saving Gracie organization.

Wendy Colvin

Wendy Colvin, is a life-long Vacavillian and active member of the community and is thrilled to be a member of the Saving Gracie team. Wendy is a wife, a mother of two and grandmother of one. She is retired and loves to spend time with her “grand-pups”, Belle and Chip, who are pictured with her here, and loves to spoil them with treats and toys!

Janet Dosker

Janet Dosker, a Vacaville resident for over 25 years, is thrilled to be on the Saving Gracie Board. A lover of animals, a connector of people, and an outdoor enthusiast, Janet is excited to help continue the mission of Saving Gracie through fundraising and building supporters. Janet, an avid dog lover, believes everyone needs an animal in their life. The unconditional love from a pet is immeasurable and helping others fund those unexpected vet bills is extra important to her. She understands the stress and cost of vet services as her oldest daughter is a Veterinarian in Glasgow, Scotland.

Janet and her husband Dave, parents to two adult girls, have a newly rescued 1.5 year old German Wirehaired Pointer/Lab Mix boy named Rowan. He’s the best therapy after recently saying goodbye to their 15.5 year old Rhodesian Ridgeback/ Border Collie girl Blaze. Janet has worked in the Vacaville Unified School District for over 15 years, has been on a variety of boards including the Cal Poly Napa Alumni and Jepson music boards, Coached club soccer for 10 years and is a member of the Twilight Soroptimist Group.