“I feel like this is my love story to the community.” That’s what Lisa Hilas says about the decision to start her non-profit, Saving Gracie. Saving Gracie is an angel fund for pets. Lisa named the organization after her 3-year-old mini Australian Shepherd but it was the tragic loss of a childhood pet in an accident that led her to the creation of the non-profit. Many pet owners are faced with the heartbreak of euthanizing their pet simply because they cannot afford medical care. Lisa realized that there were many animals in Solano County who could survive if their families only had the money to pay for their treatment. Although Saving Gracie is already responsible for saving Evie, a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois who needed emergency surgery to remove a foxtail from her aorta, Lisa says she is in fundraising mode for the first year. She raised several thousand dollars at a Pet Palooza last month and is working on coordinating more joint fundraisers in the future. Lisa also plans on promoting preventative education so pet owners can avoid these emergencies in the first place.
During this ‘Season of Giving’, members of the Vacaville Police Department were honored to recognize Lisa and Saving Gracie as one of our outstanding givers in the community. She was presented with flowers and a gift box at PAWSH Place Veterinary Center. Brenden Theaters also provided a recognition basket full of wonderful goodies. The Staff at PAWSH will be the advisors who evaluate each medical case when a family applies for a grant through Saving Gracie. They also helped to raise money this holiday season by setting up two Christmas trees and allowing people to sponsor paper ornaments on them. PAWSH will continue to accept donations on behalf of Saving Gracie in the future, but you can also donate on their website: https://www.saving-gracie.org/.
Lisa was nominated for this honor by her friend, Tamara Connors. Tamara wrote a lovely letter to us that said in part, “Lisa was diagnosed with a rare retinal condition that took her central vision in 2010 rendering her unable to drive or read without assistive technology. She has not only overcome her disability, but has used it as a tool to show others that life can get much better after hard times. Saving Gracie and all of the other work she does in Solano County are a labor of love for the community she credits with supporting and “saving” her. I hope you will consider honoring this selfless and inspiring woman. She is all heart. “