By Aimee O’Grady 

From the skyline of Washington, D.C., to the rural pastures of Marshall, Virginia, Greg and Candy Fazakerley are in the business of bringing positive change to the community and enhancing the quality of life for others. In the mid-1980s, they purchased a development company in Alexandria, Virginia, bringing them to the Washington, D.C., suburbs. Over the course of a few years, they relocated the business to the nation’s capital, where it remains today.

In 1995, the Fazakerleys relocated from Washington, D.C., to Middleburg. “We knew we would make our home in Middleburg and began looking at different organizations to donate to,” says Candy.

An animal lover, Candy contacted the Middleburg Humane Foundation, based out of Marshall. She connected with the organization’s founder, Hilleary Bogley, and asked how she could help.

“I knew they coordinated an annual gala, and I asked how much the tent rental was,” says Candy. “Hilleary said it was $10,000, so I began to cover that expense every year hoping it would help with the planning to know that was covered.”

Candy with adorable Spike

Candy with adorable Spike

The gala is the foundation’s largest fundraiser, raising 33 percent of the organization’s operating expenses.

For years, the Fazakerleys made an annual donation but didn’t volunteer. Over time, however, they developed a friendship with Lisa and Zohar Ben-Dov, board members and donors to the foundation. “We became friends and enjoyed one another’s company,” shares Candy. “Lisa knew of my experience in the building development industry.” When the board began to discuss the construction of a new facility about five years ago, she turned towards me to help as the developer. She knew that I could help orchestrate the project with the fewest missteps.”

Through this friendship, Candy ended up joining the MHF board. “This was actually a very big deal since my husband and I had made vows to never serve on another board!” says Candy with a laugh. “But it’s almost impossible to say no to Lisa.”

The MHF Board is unlike any other that Candy has served on. “We have 100 percent giving from the Board members to the cause, and every Board member rolls up their sleeves to get work done,” she says. “It is truly a working board.”

This relationship, nurtured over time, brought the Fazakerleys and the Ben-Dovs to where they find themselves today as board directors for the Middleburg Humane Foundation. Both women are active volunteers for the foundation’s capital campaign and have spent the last three years, with a team of volunteers, fundraising for the construction of a new equine, livestock and small animal care facility with a goal of raising $4,000,000.

In 2016, the benevolent couple, the Ben-Dovs donated 23 acres of land to the MHF for the construction of the state-of-the-art 10,000-square-foot facility with accompanying barns. Candy finds herself at the helm as project manager, relying on decades of experience from her development company. As 2017 enters the fourth quarter, the foundation is looking for its final dollars to complete the campaign and to continue construction on the facility’s main building.

New Middleburg Humane Foundation Barn and Shed. Photo courtesy of Middleburg Humane Foundation

New Middleburg Humane Foundation Barn and Shed. Photo courtesy of Middleburg Humane Foundation

“Our need for the new facility is a direct correlation to our success as a rescue facility,” says Polly Gault, MHF Executive Director. “There aren’t too many facilities in Virginia that provide rescue services for horses and other farm animals, including cows and goats, in addition to the traditional rescue services for domestic cats, dogs, even birds, and lizards.

“The upgraded facility will enable us to increase programming, establish relationships with educational institutions, continue our relationships with local veterinarian practices, become compliant with new state regulations for animal shelters, and provide outreach for residents,” Gault explains. “We are excited about what doors will open with the new high-tech facility.”

From modest beginnings in 1987, the MHF has forged relationships with a myriad of people throughout the region who share similar stories to those of Fazakerley and Ben-Dov, joining the organization to become advocates for the foundation’s mission. That mission has expanded to address the growing needs of the community and added programming and services. Today, the MHF finds itself on the precipice of a new chapter of providing animal care and advocating for animal welfare. ML

Mission Statement:  We at MHF believe that all animals, both large and small, have the right to safe and sanitary living conditions, protection from abuse and neglect, and to live their lives in an environment
free from pain and fear.

For additional information contact www.middleburghumane.org or call 540-364-3272. To donate, contact www.middleburghumane.org/donate.