Sonya Stowers was presented with The Exchange Club of Naperville’s Ervin Kendzora Book of Golden Deeds Award over a Zoom Meeting on May 1, 2020. A plaque presentation will occur at a later date.
Stowers was nominated for this award by the Naperville Area Humane Society for her work at the shelter and with Chicagoland Blue Star Mothers. At NAHS, Stowers volunteers as a cat socializer, mentors new volunteers, helps with community outreach events, and fosters cats and kittens. She also works with her cat Sputnik in the Pawsitive Therapy Program, visiting hospice, assisted living, high schools, colleges, special needs young adults, and by posting regularly on social media (Facebook - Sputnik the Therapy Cat, Instagram - @sputnik_the_therapy_cat) as a certified cat therapy team. Stowers and Sputnik have been working as a certified team for over 2 years, going on 5-15 visits a month and bringing happiness and laughter wherever they go. Stowers is particularly proud of her work with Sputnik. It takes a special cat to be able to willingly go into unknown situations and sit with people they don’t know. With her training sharp and always continuing, Sputnik thrives in this environment and seems to know that what she does is very valued and meaningful. Whenever possible Stowers and Sputnik visit with veterans. NAHS and Chicagoland Blue Star Mothers are collaborating to expand the NAHS Pets for Vets programs.
Stowers has served on the Chapter Executive Board of Chicagoland Blue Star
Mothers over 3 years, currently serving as President. Chicagoland Blue Star Mothers is the local chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America, a Congressionally Chartered 501(c)3 organization. Every member has a son or daughter who is serving, or who has served, in any branch of the US Military. In February, CBSM was recognized by the Western DuPage Chamber of Commerce with their Service Spirit Award for outstanding community service. We support our troops, our veterans, and each other with initiatives such as care package collections for our deployed troops, an annual Chili Cook Off to raise funds for veteran related charities, participation in community events tied to awareness for our troops and veterans, and more. One main mission of the organization is to support military mothers and families as they go through the various stages of the journey of being a military family, including boot camp, deployments, being stationed overseas, missing family holidays and events, and more, plus all the pride and fear that goes along with being in a military family.
Stowers says, “These two amazing organizations give me the chance to help our community while following my own passions of helping our military and helping animals, even combining them wherever possible. Being recognized with this award from The Exchange Club of Naperville will help me and both of these organizations continue moving forward with our missions to support our military and animals and I am grateful for that opportunity. Thank you Exchange Club of Naperville!”
If you would like more information about Naperville Area Humane Society and it’s programs, including arranging therapy animal visits, please contact them at 630-420-8989. For more information about supporting or joining Chicagoland Blue Star Mothers, please contact Stowers at firstname.lastname@example.org.