“I first became involved with Ollie’s Place after finding out about this wonderful organization online. I was looking to volunteer with an animal rescue organization and after reading the mission and goals of Ollie’s Place, I knew this was the perfect setting for me to connect with,” she says. Carli was especially drawn to the priority commitment Ollie’s Place has for the health and well-being of our feline friends. “I have also enjoyed that the organization is run by volunteers. All of the volunteers are there for the purpose of caring for the cats and ensuring that their needs are met. We work together towards the ultimate goal of finding each cat their forever home,” she adds. “When I first heard that Ollie’s Place was going to be creating a 2013 calendar, I wanted to be involved right away. The 2012 calendar that was developed for Mighty Mutts was beautiful and I wanted to take part in the creation of this new calendar featuring the cats that I work with on a weekly basis. Drawing is a hobby for me and I tried my best to capture the personalities of two of my favorite cats, Annabelle and Taylor, in the images that I submitted.”
Carli is delighted to have had the opportunity to take part in the calendar project and is hopeful it will help generate much-needed funds for Ollie’s Place.
Living in the Union Square area, Denis had seen many Mighty Mutts Saturday adoption drives. He finally decided to contact Mighty Mutts to volunteer. After several months of volunteering, it became obvious that his services as a graphic designer were the best way he could contribute to the cause. He is currently acting as Creative Director for Mighty Mutts.
Among the projects Denis has worked on include regular newsletters, event promotions, flyers, T-shirts, Facebook promotion graphics and the new Mighty Mutts and Ollie’s Place calendars for 2013, “Portraits of Hope.” He gathered a team of highly talented and professional artists to create the calendars, which feature portraits of cats and dogs in need of adoption and some Mighty Mutts and Ollie's Place alumni already placed in loving homes. Calendar sales help defray the cost of veterinary expenses and supplies for the organization. Volunteering at Mighty Mutts has given Denis a way to combine his love of design and desire to help animals in need. There are so many incredible animals sitting in shelters that were surrendered or abandoned for whatever reason. They deserve a second chance in a loving home. I truly believe that they know they’ve been rescued and will love you even more for saving them.
Says Denis, “I would like to thank everyone who participated in the calendar project. I was truly inspired by the willingness of everyone to help and their dedication to getting this project done. Thanks to the efforts of everyone, perhaps we can save and improve the lives of more animals in the year ahead!”
When she discovered Ollie’s Place, she thought again of the abandoned cat and decided she wanted to be part of a place where cats are loved and cared for as they wait for their forever homes. She can now be found at Ollie’s, cleaning cages, trimming nails, breaking up the occasional cat scrap and annoying Rapunzel with snuggles.
Emi’s other dream is to make a living as an artist. She’s been drawing since she was a teenager and even had her own comic strip in her college’s newspaper. Besides cats, Emi likes carousels, Disney, and tea. She lives on the Lower East Side with her husband Will and her own adopted cat, a sweet tuxedo girl named Kefka.
“I made a mental note of the name and eventually decided to reach out. I wanted to take a role in getting these dogs adopted by making professional portraits. So often, rescue dogs are photographed terribly. They are shot from above with cell phone cameras or point-and-shoots with a direct flash, and the photographs are often of poor quality. I wanted to show them off and let people fall in love with how sweet and beautiful they are. I also asked my fashion model friends to pose with the dogs. Beautiful women help sell all sorts of products, so why not some adorable pooches?”
Says John, “Denis and Michelle have been great to work with on this project. I love their passion for these animals; their enthusiasm is infectious. I look forward to collaborating with them and helping more animals in need.”
In more recent years, Kathy has also added plush toy designer to her resume. In fact, in the past year she has been chosen to be the designer for a wonderful company that bases all of its toys on real life pets that have been successfully adopted from shelters. The best part is, a portion of the sales from each toy goes to that particular pets’ shelter! This has made Kathy’s career even more meaningful and fulfilling. Denis Kohler and Kathy Voerg have known each other through a mutual co-worker and friend for several years. When Denis got a glimpse of Kathy’s latest toy designs and the concept behind them, he couldn’t resist. Kathy’s participation in the “Portraits of Hope” Calendar project was obviously a perfect match.
“I’m truly grateful and honored to be part of this wonderful project, and I feel so happy that my work may help save the lives of some wonderfully lovable animals!”
Maribel has held leading design positions at firms ranging from the county government in Silicon Valley to Microsoft in Seattle, WA. She has also been the creative director for several music startups with her long-time boyfriend, Toby. In 2007, they moved to London, England, when their company, Musicmobs, was acquired by CBS. There, she founded Maribel Made, a brand focusing on custom, handcrafted toys and fashion. Her products have been featured in magazines and blogs around the world. Today, she continues to sell her work through Etsy.
Currently, Maribel is a Senior Web Designer at Direct Brands, Inc., where she met Denis Kohler and became involved in the Mighty Mutts and Ollies’s Place “Portraits of Hope” calendar project. Maribel recently adopted a cat from the street named Lenox.
wonderful kitty, Cosmo, at Ollie’s and we hope to give a home to another one of Ollie’s residents soon. I had a blast photographing the kitties for the calendar and I hope it sells tons to help this wonderful organization. The level of dedication here is heartwarming.”