Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

I learned a long time ago that, if it had to do with team sports, my role was supportive and my place was the bench. I may have been the least played captain of any Irmo High School varsity tennis team in history.

Coach King, speaking delicately to my mother, said, “Chrissey wasn’t exactly blessed with speed.” Funny, you don’t have to be particularly fast or tall or agile or strong or even athletic at all to be fiercely competitive or to understand the concept of teamwork. In fact, in my case, being not-so-athletic was a great way for me to figure out, perhaps through process of elimination, what I could best contribute to a team.

Once, in recreation league basketball, with 10 minutes left and down by a mere 12 points, the coach, who happened to be my father, subbed me into the game. There were only two reasons for me to leave my place on the pines: 1) We were winning by so much that the other team couldn’t close the gap, or 2) We were losing so badly that we couldn’t catch them.

I stood at center court and cried. I continued sobbing all the way home as my poor father tried like crazy to figure out what was wrong with me. As worry turned to frustration, he demanded, “What in the world is the matter with you?!"

Then, hiccupping through hot streams of tears, I wailed words that made my father proud. “You gave uppppp!!!!!!” In that one blubbering sentence, my dad understood that I didn’t want to fail, that I had learned how a team works and that I knew what spoke in the wheel I was. Needless to say, it wasn’t point guard. And that was OK.

If you have ever been part of a team, whether it was a board of directors, the cast of a play, a marching band or a basketball squad, you can appreciate a collaborative effort.

Many hands make light work. And when different hands contribute in complementary ways, that’s when the team works best. When you have a larger than life task at hand, you need able, willing, and complementary collaborators.

At the SPCA, we are so fortunate to have a community of diverse support to help us keep our eye on the ball during 2015.

In February, we will be putting the full-court press on pet overpopulation as we celebrate World Spay Month. The project tips off Jan. 29 with A Play to Spay, featuring Norm Foster’s hilarious comedy “Hilda’s Yard.” Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online. The show starts at 7:00 p.m. and will be performed in the Marr Education Center of the SPCA. Beer and wine can be purchased beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are nearly sold out for this event, so hurry up and get yours now. This is a great opportunity for you to be part of our team while you warm the bench. See, you get to relax and enjoy this great show while we use ticket proceeds to provide affordable sterilization surgeries for pets. Everybody wins!

Over the last two months, the SPCA has been partnering with the Aiken Center for the Arts in a special gallery opening. Artists from the ACA have been jumping through hoops to get up close and personal with our furry friends. The artwork inspired by our sheltered pets, as well as pets sheltered by Aiken County Animal Services, will be featured in the ACA’s gallery opening mid-February. Heads up for more information about that project!

Finally, February will wrap up with a new and exciting collaborative effort between the SPCA and FOTAS called Fences4Fido. This program will allow us to free some of Aiken County’s chained dogs, give them a safe place to play, and provide their owners with some valuable resources to better bond with their pets. Our first build is slated for Feb. 28. If you would like to help out, contact Heather Dry at [email protected] to see what position you can fill on the team.

Whether you are a coach, a teammate, a cheerleader, a fan or a booster, we appreciate your support in helping us win against animal cruelty. If you’ve got some hang time and would like to help keep the ball in play here at the SPCA, give us a call at 803-648-6863, visit us in person at 199 Willow Run Road, or virtually at

Chrissey Miller, CAWA

Development Director

SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare

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The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare is a

tax-exempt 501(C)(3) nonprofit organization.

EIN: 57-0329782

  199 Willow Run Road  Aiken, SC 29801      Shelter: (803) 648-6863    Vet Care: (803) 648-6864

Copyright 2014     SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare      All rights reserved