Outside of Halloween, masked figures walking the streets are typically a cause for concern, though this masked figure is likely to spur more delight than distress among witnesses.
Looking to raise money for 10 animal shelters and advocacy groups in Washington, Fox Island resident Bill Fay is walking across the state wearing either a dog or a cat mask in his persona of “Crazy Stan the Animal Man.”
Joining him and providing support for the adventure is his wife, Nancy, who Bill refers to as “Beautiful Sal the Animal Gal.”
“The real twist (to the walk) was I had to add something to make it a little kooky,” Bill explained. “So the idea to add animal masks for the whole 300 miles came up.”
Beginning May 27, Bill, 60, will start his 300-mile walk at Sequim’s Carrie Blake Dog Park, break briefly in the middle of his “Walk for the Animals” to climb Mount Hood, and then resume his trip to reach Cape Disappointment on the Columbia River. The official end of the walk will be celebrated July 15 in Long Beach with a Pet Parade and Pet Look-a-Like contest, part of the Long Beach Sandsations festivities.
The real twist (to the walk) was I had to add something to make it a little kooky. So the idea to add animal masks for the whole 300 miles came up.
Bill Fay, ‘Crazy Stan the Animal Man’
Nancy, 63, will serve as a guide car, dropping her husband off at his starting point each day and picking him up at the end of the day, and will record his journey, updating social media with pictures and information. She also will help provide more visibility for Bill in some of the more dangerous stretches of roadway, which lack visibility or a shoulder for pedestrians.
“I’m raising money for the shelters and the animal rescues,” Bill said. “I’m not particular how they use (the funds) because they understand the needs in their area.”
“He’s targeting the (shelters) that aren’t well off,” Nancy added.
The Fays are targeting shelters and animal advocacy groups that lack visibility and funding. Throughout the walk the couple will be stopping by each of the 10 shelters to participate in events and talk with local media.
“We chose an out-of-the-way route because shelters in the Puget Sound basin tend to have a very broad donor base and tend to have a paid staff,” Bill explained. “Out there it’s almost the total volunteer thing or people giving of themselves or going to rescue animals — the ones who don’t get hardly a lot but they’re working just as much.”
We chose an out-of-the-way route because shelters in the Puget Sound basin tend to have a very broad donor base and tend to have a paid staff.
The ten shelters featured in Bill’s walk include Peninsula Friends of Animals in Sequim, Olympic Peninsula Humane Society in Port Angeles, Welfare for Animals Guild in Sequim, Pet Posse in Port Angeles, Friends of Forks Animals in Forks, North Beach PAWS in Ocean Shores, PAWS of Grays Harbor in Aberdeen, Harbor Rescue in Cosmopolis, Harbor Association of Volunteers for Animals in Raymond and South Pacific County Humane Society in Long Beach.
A GoFundMe page has been set up by Bill for those looking to donate to the walk. Donations can either be made to specific organizations or more generally, with the funds equally divided between the groups.
“The shelters, I asked them for nothing,” Bill said. “All I asked from them (was) if you want to set up an event, Crazy Stan will come to it. If you want to set up media, Crazy Stan will support it.”
The Fays have covered all the costs for the fundraiser, estimated to be between $6K to $7K, and include T-shirts, business cards and the professionally designed cat and dog masks that the couple will wear.
“They had to be specific, too, so that there’s good visibility,” Nancy explained. “Because you want to have your peripheral vision and you don’t want to be sweating in them.”
Designed by Deanna Connell and Dalton Bissell, the masks were created using 3-D printing, allowing them to be lightweight and durable. They were then painted and the fur and whiskers added to make each animal distinct.
I’m meeting terrific people doing what I think are heroic things. Unexpected things. I’ve never worked so hard in my life.
This is not the first activity-based fundraiser for Bill, who climbed Mount Rainier last September to raise money for Orphans Africa, a Tacoma nonprofit organization dedicated to educating orphans in Tanzania.
Following this fundraiser, Nancy had the idea to start a fundraiser for animals in need. Bill and Nancy are both animal lovers and the Walk for the Animals fundraiser has been a natural fit for the couple.
“I’m meeting terrific people doing what I think are heroic things — unexpected things,” Bill said. “I’ve never worked so hard in my life.”