Kasey Zumwalt and Jackie Cornell are the women behind the Aberdeen Dog Fair. The two plan this event while working full-time and it hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Kasey owns The Bull Room in Aberdeen and when the shop isn’t open, she is at home working on projects for her customers to personalize. Jackie is the chief operating officer of the CARE Group Inc., a nonprofit that is a combination of Moore Buddies Mentoring and the Moore County Literary Council. The two have helped put on several events in downtown Aberdeen in the past, but eventually decided they needed to focus on one. “Our hearts are with the Aberdeen Dog Fair,” Jackie says.
The dog fair, Kasey’s idea, has been held the last five years (one year, virtually) to help raise money for local shelters. The first one was small. In the years since, and especially after partnering with Jackie, the fair has grown in popularity. This year’s event, on April 2, was the biggest fair yet. “People started seeking us out to be vendors this year, which was new,” says Jackie.
“Festivals and craft fairs are big around here and people always bring their families. But to a lot of people their dog is their family,” Kasey says. “I wanted to find a way to give dogs the best day ever.” In addition to raising money for local shelters, Kasey and Jackie also work to build community, giving people a new way to interact with vets, groomers and other vendors local to the area.
Organizing the fair is no small task, even for these proud members of #TeamNoSleep. “It ends up being so much fun and so worth it,” says Kasey. They begin the process in November and run full speed until April.
This year, 11 participating rescues benefitted from money raised in creative ways. To be a vendor at the fair, a business’s product or service must be at least 80 percent dog related, but some got involved by sponsoring poop stations — the duo’s idea being to “put your business where they do theirs.” Money is also raised by the bark bake sale.
Next year, Kasey and Jackie want to add more events throughout the day, building on this year’s dog yoga and a contest for best-dressed dog. They are also working on getting the Aberdeen Dog Fair registered as a nonprofit and eventually making merch to further raise money for the cause. The duo agrees that they love having the fair in downtown Aberdeen because the fair also showcases local businesses.
Kasey has three dogs of her own: a German Shepard named Kolt, a Husky named Damon, and a Chihuahua named Marvel. Jackie has a Britany Spaniel named Floki.