Heart of Gold Society Awards

Every year, we present awards in three categories to honor Heart of Gold donors who have made extraordinary contributions to the San Francisco SPCA.

  • The Youth Philanthropy award honors donors under the age of 18 who have given or raised funds for the animals.
  • The Society Engagement award recognizes donors who support and are engaged with the San Francisco SPCA in three or more areas: as an adopter, hospital client, volunteer, or member of our Legacy Society or Sido Program
  • The Partnership in Fundraising award highlights donors who help us educate the community, raise funds and invite their friends and colleagues to support our mission.

2015 Honorees

2015 Humane Hero Award - This special award recognizes indivduals who have made extraordinary impact on animal welfare at the SF SPCA and beyond.

Rich Avanzino

Rich has had a major influence on companion animal welfare during his nearly four decades in the industry and is widely viewed as father of the “no-kill” movement. He was President of the San Francisco SPCA from 1976 to 1999, and he recently retired as President of Maddie’s Fund, where he directed the family foundation’s $300 million endowment to revolutionize the status and well-being of companion animals. Rich is on Dog Fancy’s list of “45 People who have Changed the Dog World” and was awarded the Assisi Award by the New Zealand Companion Animal Council.

Right: Rich Avanzino

2015 Society Engagement Award
Nancy Ozsogomonyan

In her 18 years of volunteering, Nancy Ozsogomonyan has helped thousands of shelter cats find their forever homes. After fostering kittens for several years, she adopted her beloved kitty Gabriel, who is a client at the Pets Unlimited Veterinary Hospital. As a loyal supporter of animal welfare, Nancy generously embodies the spirit of our Heart of Gold Society Engagement award.

Right: Nancy Ozsogomonyan



2015 Partnership in Fundraising Award
Critter Lovers At Work (CLAW)

Critter Lovers At Work (CLAW) is an all-volunteer support group of the San Francisco SPCA. It was founded by Jill H. Kramer and some of her animal-loving friends after the success of the holiday adoption windows event at Gump’s in 1987. CLAW has since raised and contributed more than $1 million to the SF SPCA’s Cinderella Fund for sick, injured, and homeless animals through events such as the Cinderella Luncheon and the Bark & Whine Ball.

Right: Jill Kramer


2014 Honorees

Jenny Golden2014 Youth Philanthropy Award
Jenny Golden

Jenny is a remarkable young woman who started her own chocolate chip cookie business four years ago at the age of 14 using her family’s secret recipe. She started Sconset Sweetreets® to raise money and awareness of homeless pets in Nantucket and began supporting the SF SPCA last year. Since she began her business, Jenny has donated $11,500 to the SF SPCA to help homeless animals find their forever homes.

Right: Jenny Golden

Vicky and Marshall Berol2014 Society Engagement Award
Vicki and Marshall Berol

Vicky and Marshall have been generously supporting the animals since 1989. Vicky has been volunteering to help cats find new homes for six years and they have been members of our Legacy Society since 2005. They live in San Francisco with their three rescue cats, Mary, Margot, and Martha who are patients at our Mission Campus hospital.

Right: Vicky and Marshall Berol

Alexis Spanos Ruhl2014 Partnership in Fundraising Award
Alexis Spanos Ruhl

A lifelong animal welfare advocate, Alexis became an early champion in building community support and an effective partnership with the SF SPCA to support Stockton Animal Services in her hometown. As a board member for the A.G. Spanos Company, Alexis rallied her community to attend a sold out dinner for 450 guests and raised $140,000 for our Stockton Fund for Animals.

Right: Alexis Spanos Ruhl

2013 Honorees

2013 Youth Philanthropy Award

Alyssa raised more than $20,000 for our animals and has served as an animal-assisted therapy volunteer for four years, along with her mom, Leesa, and their Standard Poodle, Trixie.

Right: Alyssa Romo and her dog, Trixie

Dixie Bee and Paul with Misty Mae2013 Society Engagement Award

In addition to being members of our Legacy Society, Dixie and Paul have fostered nearly 1,000 kittens and several dogs, trained volunteers in our Macy’s Holiday Windows adoption program, adopted several pets and helped raise funds for our Foster Program.

Right: Dixie Bee Conner and Paul Shimer with their adopted dog, Misty Mae

Todd and Nancy Curtiss with Troy2013 Partnership in Fundraising Award

Todd was our champion at Google in San Francisco by creating a partnership that helped us raise more than $41,000.

Right: Todd and Nancy Curtiss with their rescue Husky, Troy