The CAPS’ great fruitcake caper |

The CAPS’ great fruitcake caper

Recently, I had the pleasure of talking with Norma Klenakis, one of the original “Dirty Dozen” founders of CAPS. We shared stories and laughs about how CAPS became the wonderful shelter it is. Many of the stories revolved around the fund-raising aspect of financing a shelter.

My most favorite story involves fruitcake, television and children. What could possibly go wrong? It seems that one of the volunteers came up with the idea of buying fruitcakes from a fund-raising company and then reselling them for a profit.

I don’t know about you, but fruitcake isn’t real high on my list of holiday treats. Unfortunately, a vast majority of town folks shared that feeling. Things were looking bleak, so they decided to feature the fruitcake on the weekly local television program that showcased CAPS and an adoptable animal.

The stage was set, fruitcake was cut and a darling little boy was on the set with his mom. The show’s usual format was (1) the interviewer talked to Norma about the pet who was up for adoption and (2) the camera would show a close-up of the adorable animal. Everything went as expected.

The next item on the agenda was to talk about the fruitcake fund-raiser, so the camera panned in to show the delicious fruitcake full of fruit and nuts. So far so good until the boy asked if he could try a bite of the cake. “Of course,” Norma replied. What happened next was hilarious. The boy took a bite, chewed a little and spit it out with a big YUCK!

As Norma tells it, everyone laughed and that was the worst fund-raiser they ever tried. So all the volunteers knew exactly what was under their Christmas trees: fruitcake.


Oatmeal, a five-year-old female orange tabby, absolutely loves helping the office staff. She’s an expert at sharing human food and delights in keeping the dogs in line. Oatmeal identifies more with dogs than cats; in fact she thinks she’s part dog. She is sweet and gets along well with children, cats and dogs. Start your day right with a pal named Oatmeal. She’s waiting to meet you.


We are collecting aluminum cans. You can drop them off at CAPS or call and we will pick them up 775-423-7500.


Our wonderful volunteers Amber and Judy Watkins who are excellent dog walkers and cat players. All our four-pawed residents thank you for your commitment to their health and happiness.

Malone and Gail for the many extra hours they spend cleaning and making our shelter nice. We also appreciate the items you donate to make life more comfortable for our guests. You all deserve a Four Paws Salute!


CAPS will be at Walmart on Dec 17 with the Kissin’ Booth and a wiggly volunteer to kiss. We have caps, long-sleeved t-shirts, hoodies and sweatshirts, so please check them out after you have greeted our pup pal. Hurry and order the 2017 Happy Endings Calendar. Christmas is almost here so pick up your stocking stuffers from CAPS.


Flower Tree Nursery is raffling a 20-gallon live blue spruce just in time for Christmas. The raffle tickets are available at Flower Tree, and they are $1 for one ticket and $5 for six tickets. The drawing will be held on Dec. 6, and the winner doesn’t have to be present to win.

To register in the Amazon Smile program, a website operated by Amazon. Customers enjoy many of the same selection of products, low prices, and shopping features as on The only difference is that, when you shop on AmazonSmile (, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization selected by you. We have already raised $200.


CAPS’ mailing address is P.O. Box 5128, Fallon, NV 89406. CAPS’ phone number is 775-423-7500. CAPS’ email address is Please visit the CAPS website ( and Facebook page (Churchill Animal Protection Society). Be sure to “Like” CAPS on Facebook because we are really likable.

Do you have questions, comments or a great story? Contact me

Kathleen Williams-Miller, a CAPS volunteer, contributed this week’s column.