advertisement founder to tour Central Missouri Humane Society

Wednesday, March 18, 2009 | 3:29 p.m. CDT; updated 7:37 p.m. CDT, Thursday, March 19, 2009

COLUMBIA — Richard Thompson, founder of, will tour the Central Missouri Humane Society on Thursday. Shelter supporters are encouraging Columbia residents to help welcome Thompson to town.

The visit is part of Phase II of's shelter makeover contest. The Columbia shelter moved on to this stage after ranking first during the initial phase of the process, which was driven by points accumulated on the Web-based networking site. Now, officials are touring 20 shelters across the country. Ten locations will be announced April 7 as finalists. The last phase will allow the public to vote for a shelter to receive a $1 million makeover.

Here is the itinerary:

10:45 a.m. — Downtown Columbia, Broadway
Supporters are encouraged to line the sidewalks of downtown Broadway while Thompson and Humane Society hosts drive from Highway 63 to Providence on a trolley car. KCLR/99.3 FM will broadcast live as part of the motorcade to help increase crowd interaction along the route.

11 a.m. — Central Missouri Humane Society, 616 Big Bear Blvd.
A pep-rally style welcome will begin with an address from city officials including:

  • Mayor Darwin Hindman;
  • Patty Forister, executive director of the humane society;
  • Libby Burks and Amanda Huhman, local teens who discovered and publicized the shelter makeover contest; and
  • Richard Thompson, founder of

A flier from the Central Missouri Humane Society encourages supporters to "Show ‘em what we’ve got for CMHS!"

Residents are encouraged to get in the spirit by wearing bright blue shirts and bringing signs with slogans like "CMHS loves Zootoo" and "Columbia welcomes Zootoo."

According to volunteer Angie Huhman, Amanda Huhman's mother, only 100 shirts are left. Anyone interested in purchasing one should visit Treats Unleashed in the Forum Shopping Center next to Schnucks.

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