Ashland Young Professionals recently donated the proceeds gained from their July Golf Outing to two Ashland pet organizations.

ASHLAND -- Ashland Young Professionals recently donated the proceeds gained from their July Golf Outing to two Ashland pet organizations.

Homeward Bound Dog Shelter and The Cat House Feline Sanctuary, Inc each received $1,000 to aid in their mission to serve local animals in need.

During the registration process for AYP's first annual Golf Outing, the steering committee beckoned participants to vote for what type of organization(s) the proceeds would be given to. The options were eldercare, childcare or pets.

“At the end, it was overwhelming that everybody voted for pets," Ashland Young Professionals Liaison Emily McKinley said. "Everybody has a passion for pets.

"We decided to choose Homeward Bound Dog Shelter and The Cat House Feline Sanctuary to receive half of the proceeds each. All of us have been talking as a committee about getting more involved in giving."

Fifteen teams teed-off at Brookside Golf Course, leading to the inaugural event's success. Ashland Young Professionals steering committee member and Wayne Savings Community Bank staff member Kristin Flickinger is credited with crafting the idea, which will become an annual outing.

President of Homeward Bound Dog Shelter's Board of Directors Ralph Tomassi says the shelter is on track to officially begin construction on Baney Road later this year. 

“Dianne Hammontree got us all together listed in a committee three years ago with our focal point to build a new shelter here in Ashland," Tomassi said. "It’s been quite a ride and quite a positive one.


"We’ve raised almost a million dollars if you count the endowments. We go into this with a great deal of confidence that we’re going to have a really good facility for our caregivers and our animals, and that it is going to perpetuate and be a high-quality facility in the future."

Homeward Bound Dog Shelter will include 70 total kennels, a feat no other Ashland shelter has reached. 

Director of The Cat House Feline Sanctuary, Laura Bailey, proclaimed this donation could not have been made at a more suitable moment.

“We have about $30,000 worth of repairs; between roofing, exterior gates, flooring, and an interior building walls renovation that needs done this year," Bailey said. "This couldn’t have come at more a divine and perfect time.”


The Cat House Feline Sanctuary officially became a nonprofit in 2007, which allowed them to fundraise and receive grant money. They have the capacity to comfortably foster, rehabilitate, and rehome more than 100 cats.

Both nonprofits committed to collaborate with Ashland Young Professionals for the 2022 Golf Outing, which will be open to all ages.

McKinley projected that AYP's eminence will exponentially increase as more events materialize.

“Our goal is to connect young professionals, ages 21 to 40ish; connect them through business relations, personal relations, community services activities etc.," McKinley said.

Ashland Young Professionals is a division of the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce dedicated to providing opportunities for young individuals to grow together and make a difference in the Ashland community.

For more information on their upcoming events or outreach programs, visit the Chamber's website or follow Ashland Young Professionals on Facebook and Instagram.

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West Sunbury, PA native. Alum of Ashland University & Gonzaga University. News and sports announcer for 104.5 WQKT in Wooster, trivia host for Sporcle Live, and Communications and Transportation Coordinator for the Ashland County Cancer Association.