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Fundraiser planned to benefit local animal lover's family

October 13, 2021
ALEXANDRIA — Residents of the Town of Alexandria are asking the Newfound community to help in supporting the family of 63-year-old Sandra (Sandy) Blais through a special fundraising event that is hoped to raise money for her family as they struggle with her loss.

Sandy was a well-known and much loved member of the Newfound community who passed away on Tuesday, Sept. 14 after a brief bout with cancer. Born in Rhode Island she moved to New Hampshire with her husband David Blais in 1993. There she found her niche in the rural community where she raised their children, served as a Sexton of Cemeteries in Alexandria, worked at both Parkhurst Hardware and the Bristol Animal Hospital, and for the last 17 years was a First Student bus driver for the Newfound Area School District's children.

Sandy was also known for her love of animals, calling her home "Misfit Farm," where she cared for rescue horses, dogs and any other animal that needed a loving place to live.

"There wasn't an animal she didn't love and a friend she wouldn't help," said Jennifer Tuthill. "Now's the time to reach out and respect her memory and help her family through these hard times."

In order to meet that goal, Tuthill has been busy organizing an Old Fashioned Animal Fair in Sandy's memory, which will take place at the Alexandria Town Hall from noon-3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 23.

Local residents have already been signing up to bring their "people friendly" farm animals to the event but Tuthill said there is always room for more. She hopes the event will introduce more people to domestic farm animals and give them a greater understanding of them along with love and respect.

As owner of Patten Brook Pony Rides in Alexandria she said recently had three separate groups of children arrive at her farm who were stunned to see a horse up close for the first time.

"They didn't realize what a horse was like in the flesh. The spirit of Sandy would really want us to expose children and adults to these wonderful creatures," Tuthill said.

Therefore, she is calling on local owners to bring animals of all kinds to the event while at the same time encouraging people from throughout the area to come get to know them. Visitors will be available to observe, ask questions, pet them and even lead animals or ride one of Tuthill's friendly Ice Horses that day.

"We're really hoping for a broad array of animals and counting on people to come out and either bring their animals or come see all those that are there," she said.

Anyone willing to bring their farm or home pets, anything from guinea pigs, ducks and chickens to horses, goats, pigs and calves (and more) is asked to contact her in advance so the logistics of their placement, as well as parking for trailers, can be arranged prior to the event.

In addition to all the animals, there will be refreshments available. Contributions of that nature, whether it be hot dogs, baked goods or other midday treats, are also greatly appreciated. All donations received from their sales will benefit the Blais family.

"We're looking for help of any kind," Tuthill said. "This is a community effort to support them."

In the event of rain, any animals who are contained in transportable cages or boxes will be moved inside the town hall so people can still enjoy an up close and personal experience with them all.

To make arranges to bring an animal, donate refreshments, or volunteer with set up or cleanup that day, please contact Jennifer Tuthill at 744-6883.

Martin Lord Osman
Salmon Press
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