OLCOTT — Several dozen members of the Lockport Connection attended the online group's annual picnic Sunday at Krull Park, where they collected donations to support Save-A-Pet.

The Lockport Connection is an online social network where anyone who ever lived in or has a connection to Lockport may sign in. Jack Fisher, who now lives in Colorado, kept up the network after its founder died. Fisher left Lockport in 1972 to join the Navy and never returned, except to attend the Connection picnic every summer.

There are now 2,850 members of the Lockport Connection throughout the United States, Fisher said. Each year, the group chooses a charity to support and solicits donations from members who attend the picnic.

This year, Mary McFall of Lockport suggested Save-A-Pet, and admission to the picnic was a pet-related item. The event realized a table full of donations, from pet food to toys.

McFall is owner of multiple cats, an infatuation that began years ago when a neighbor abandoned a kitten and McFall took it in. The kitten wasn’t neutered and needed its shots, but McFall didn’t have the money to cover those things. She was at a festival at the Niagara County Fairgrounds, where Save-A-Pet had a booth, and she started talking to a man in the booth about her kitten.

“They stepped up and helped me, and because I was so grateful, I offered to become a volunteer for them,” McFall said. “I believe heart and soul in Save-A-Pet.”

McFall remains an honorary member of the Save-A-Pet board.

Another big supporter is Ann Raskopf of Olcott, who has been making catnip pillows to benefit the organization. She sells the pillows at Clydes’s Feed and Animal Center, The Winery at Marjim Manor, Ridge Animal Hospital and Gould’s Flowers. All proceeds go to Save-A-Pet, Raskopf said. Her catnip pillows will also be available for purchase at the upcoming Apple Harvest Festival in Newfane.

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