A Columbus North High School senior is organizing a garage sale to benefit the Bartholomew County Humane Society in memory of a woman who was known for her love of animals.
Rachel Cialdella has organized the Cause for Critters garage sale that will be held from 8 a.m. to noon March 24 in the fellowship hall of First United Methodist Church, 618 Eighth St., as part of her senior project. Cialdella’s stepfather, the Rev. Howard Boles, is pastor at the church.
The fundraiser for the humane society is in memory of Jacquelyn Watts, 33, an Indianapolis woman whose body was discovered March 4, 2017, on a sandbar in the Flat Rock River. Watts, who graduated from Columbus East High School in 2002, died in an accidental drowning after attempting to save a small dog that had wandered near the Flat Rock River.
Cialdella said she decided to help out the humane society after talking with Jacquelyn Watts’ mother-in-law, Sandy Watts, who attends First United Methodist Church. Cialdella said she hopes to raise at least $500 for the organization, with most garage sale items ranging from $1 to $10.
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Monetary donations also will be accepted from individuals who want to help support the humane society.
“She was an avid animal lover,” Cialdella said, referring to Jacquelyn Watts. “I wanted to help them and I love helping out animals in any way.”
Sandy Watts reached out to other family members, who were immediately on board with the idea for Cialdella’s project.
“Of course, we were delighted,” Watts said. “Jackie loved animals and people. We’re thrilled that Rachel is doing it.”
Watts said the response from the community so far in terms of donations has been positive, adding that she believes Jackie would be thrilled the event is being put on in her honor.
“That’s who Jackie was — she was a giver,” Watts said. “Through projects like this, Jackie’s memory lives on forever.”
Jackie’s father, Ric Kleine, is a member of the Bartholomew County Humane Society board.
Ciadella said the garage sale is an opportunity to give back to the community and help the Watts family with their loss.
“I want to make that happen for them and the community,” Cialdella said.
What: Cause for Critters garage sale to benefit the Bartholomew County Humane Society
Where: First United Methodist Church, 618 Eighth St.
When: 8 a.m. to noon March 24
Other details: Columbus North High School senior Rachel Cialdella will be accepting gently used donations from the public for the garage sale at the church from 3 to 5 p.m. March 19-23. For more information, call the church at 812-372-2851.