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Judy Saffel shows a book to her friend Rosemarie Fry while at the shop’s open house Saturday.
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Some of the Christmas items for sale at Nancie’s Fancies Resale shop in Wood River. All proceeds from the shop support Riverbend Animal Shelter in Jerseyville.
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Ryder, a 1-year-old fox terrier, lived with an older couple until they could no longer take care of him. He is one of 13 dogs living at the Riverbend Animal Shelter in Jerseyville looking for a home.
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Davey, a 1-year-old dachshund, was rescued from an abusive home in Tennessee. He is one of 13 dogs living at the Riverbend Animal Shelter in Jerseyville looking for a home.
WOOD RIVER — Davey wants a home of his own. So does Ryder. So do the 11 other dogs and 54 cats living in the Riverbend Animal Shelter, just south of Jerseyville.
Davey and Ryder were visiting Nancie’s Fancies Resale Shop in Wood River Nov. 14, giving friendly wags and wet kisses to volunteers and shoppers. This is the store’s 10th year in business. All proceeds from the shop support the shelter and what it brings in is just a drop in the bucket compared to what the shelter needs.
Marie Sherfy of Godfrey is passionate about the shelter. She started volunteering there two years ago. Sherfy says there’s always something to do at the shelter and the lack of volunteers is “appalling.” And while material donations are always welcome, cash is king.
“Paper towels are nice, but cash is what’s needed. There are overhead bills like electricity, insurance, vet care. All that takes money, not paper towels,” Sherfy says.
According to Bill Stewart, the shelter’s director, it takes $6,500 a month to run the shop and the shelter. He says the shop brings in an average of $450 a week. Terry Townsend, a volunteer who operates a seamstress business in the same building, also donates at least half her earnings to the shelter.
“Before 2008, we were doing great,” he says. “We’re hoping to get through the winter, then we’ll restart fundraising in spring.”
Nancy Rome ran 5As’ resale shop during Stewart’s tenure as director of the Alton shelter. When Stewart left 5As, so did Rome. Previously called Hope for Animals Resale Shop, the store’s name was later changed to Nancie’s Fancies in Rome’s honor and to avoid confusion with Hope Rescue.
The store is a popular shop, drawing return customers and passersby alike. One woman stopped in because she’d noticed a child’s shopping cart out front earlier and was disappointed to find it sold when she stopped in. Kathy Baldwin of Cutler used to live in Alton and frequently shopped at the store.
“I always stop in when I’m in town,” she says. “It’s homey and the prices are great.”
Her 11-year-old grandson, Vince Ruyle, keeps his eye out for “lots of good stuff like board games and PC games. I like the dogs, too.”
Friends Rosemarie Fry of East Alton and Judy Saffel of Wood River also are longtime customers. The two couldn’t say enough good things about the shop, Rome and the shelter.
“We have a good time here. Judy and I met a year ago and this is one of the things we like to do,” Fry says.
“Treasure hunting,” Saffel, who had won a Christmas-themed raffle prize, says. “It benefits the store and we love that it helps the animals.”
“We also love Nancy,” Fry adds.
Sherfy not only volunteers, she shops there herself.
“They’ve really had a good turnout this morning. I was surprised to see the parking lot full. And I did my part.”
The shop took in $1,000 Nov. 14, all of which will go to benefit Davey, Ryder and their four-footed friends at Riverbend Humane Society.
Nancie’s Fancies is located at 799 Old St. Louis Road, Wood River. The shop is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Call (618) 254-2230 for information on how you can help Riverbend Humane Society.