Since 2009 about 1,700 kits have been distributed across 39 states and four countries
By Dave Dindak
Successful RE/MAX Realtor and mentor, Morgan Hill Rotary President, member of our Downtown Association, the Chamber, Community Law Enforcement Foundation, and several other organizations as well as friends with everyone she meets — that’s Terry Moriyama. I have always wondered what drives her to do it all. Her reply was simple — Morgan Hill’s “sense of community, its beauty, and how you can just feel its heart and soul.” This month’s column highlights yet another selfless endeavor, her nonprofit Air For Paws.
What might that be you ask, young grasshoppers? Well, losing a beloved animal companion is a difficult experience. We’ve cremated two cats and a dog during the past 20 years from natural causes and have two elderly pets now. But did you know about 40,000 pets are taken each year too soon from fire smoke asphyxiation? It’s devastating when one’s furry friend’s life could have been saved. Confronted with an animal victim not having proper equipment to provide aid, firefighters and first responders can feel helpless. And Terry has an answer.
As an only child whose mother was a zoologist, no surprise Terry’s siblings had scales, feathers or fur. So, in the early 2000’s when reading about a couple of small animals being saved by a resuscitation mask, she was moved, a light bulb went on, and she began thinking about how she could cultivate that concept. Then in 2008 reading how several pets died due to a fire in San Martin, she saw a calling to try and get pet oxygen masks aboard every fire, police, and emergency medical service truck. This led to developing two types of animal resuscitation kits collaborating with an area veterinarian and fire battalion chief at the time.
Since 2009 about 1,700 kits have been distributed across 39 states and four countries including Military Working Dog detachments, to help make the ability to save animals’ lives a reality. These masks find their way into the hands of first responders primarily through the generosity of compassionate pet owners. COVID-19 shutdowns dampened fundraising a couple years, so MHDA is helping Terry’s mission by raising funds during our annual Wine Stroll event Saturday, April 30.
In that same spirit, we’re having a Doggie Costume Parade and Contest you pooch lovers will enjoy. It will be held at the Pop-Up Park, Second and Monterey streets (thanks Mr. and Mrs. McCranie of Ladera Grill for its use). Advanced registration of $10 is required at www.doggieparade.eventbrite.com. Check-In begins at 1 p.m. Parade starts at 2 p.m. with five categories of prizes: Most Creative, Funniest Costume, Best Tail Wagger, Best Owner/Dog Combo, Crowd Favorite. Can’t make the stroll or parade? You can donate to Air For Paws at www.airforpaws.com.
Wine Stroll check-in on Saturday, April 30 is on Third Street beginning at noon. Stroll runs (pun intended) from 1 to 5 p.m. There are 21 stops in all. Turning back time with ’60s, ’70s and ’80s classics, Encore will be playing at Kelly’s Brew Pub. The Mitchell James Band serving pop, soul, country and R&B is at Bubbles & Brew, and Serenade offering a piano/vocals duo is at Rosy’s at the Beach. Tickets are on sale in advance at $55 through Eventbrite. Visit facebook.com/mhdowntown, click “see more” on the stroll poster, and then the link. Hope to see you there. Gonna be a lot of fun. Until next time stay safe.
David Dindak is the president of the MHDA, co-owner Bubbles and a RE/MAX Realtor.