Home News Local news Animal Care Campus to be Named for Joe Aubain

Animal Care Campus to be Named for Joe Aubain


Feb. 11, 2007 — When the new Animal Care Campus opens a year from now, it will bear the name of the man who has invested sweat equity not only to keep the project moving forward but also to keep the Humane Society alive over the years.
"Effective from this moment forward until the end of time, the Humane Society of St. Thomas Animal Care Campus shall be officially known as the Joseph S. 'Joe' Aubain Animal Care Campus," businessman and philanthropist Randolph Knight announced Saturday night at the annual "Doggie Ball" at Marriott Frenchman's Reef. The ball — officially known as the Humane Society of St. Thomas Valentine's Day Ball — is the society's major fund-raising event.
Without Aubain there would be no animal-care campus, said Knight, who has provided his own share of the impetus and much of the funding for the project.
Aubain has served as president of the 50-year-old organization for the past six years. He also held the presidency, a completely volunteer position, in the early 1990s.
In his "day job," Aubain serves as the executive director of the St. Thomas-St. John Chamber of Commerce.
In his typical unassuming manner, Aubain said little in accepting the honor, which came as a complete surprise. "They shouldn't have done that," he said later.
Several other contributors were honored Saturday night with GABBY awards for their contributions to the new campus:
— Margot Bachman, former publisher of St. Thomas this Week and lifetime supporter of the Humane Society;
— Kristine and Thomas B. Brunt, owners of MSI Building Supplies, who have contributed to the construction of the campus;
— Lockhart Realty, for its contribution of 4.7 acres of land where the campus is being developed; and
— Trudie and Neil Prior for committing more than $400,000 for the beautification of all of the campus' outside areas.
The GABBY award is a Lladro figurine called "Mi Primer Cachorrito Gabriela." Several years ago the society asked Aubain to come up with an award to give special contributors, said Knight, who was among the first to receive one.
On Saturday evening, as he has done many times before, Knight called on the community to step up to the plate and help finish the job. The society needs another $3 million to finish the campus.
"We have been diligently spreading our message, but unfortunately, there are some that are still unable to make the connection between kids and critters," Knight said. "Perhaps we should have named the Animal Care Campus the Animal Care and Children Education Campus, because we believe that the entire facility has an educational focus."
Anyone who wishes to make a contribution should email Susan Chandler or call 715-9598.
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