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Animal welfare advocated

With an ambitious expansion project in progress, the Chester County SPCA has found a simpatico celebrity spokeswoman to attend the 24th annual Forget-Me-Not, a major fund-raiser.

The Chester County SPCA, an independent nonprofit, has always relied on residents' support for animal advocacy, but officials say that need has never been greater as they begin an ambitious expansion of their West Goshen Township facilities. As a result, they are hoping for a record turnout at the 24th annual Forget-Me-Not gala on June 12, and they are offering a variety of enticements to increase attendance.

One is the venue: Marsh Valley Farm, the 1735 estate of Doris A. Grassi-Moore and Richard A. Moore in Glenmoore. Guests will be treated to  live music, a traditional horse and carriage parade, vintage automobiles, various animal demonstrations, and a gourmet buffet, served and donated by area restaurants and caterers. 

Another is the opportunity to meet Laura Wiess, a Pennsylvania author whose young-adult books have garnered acclaimed. In 2008, the American Library Association named "Such a Pretty Girl" a best book. Wiess's novels, such as "Leftovers" and  her newest, "Ordinary Beauty" feature teen protagonists in need of the same kind of compassion Wiess has provided to numerous animals she has rescued over the years.

In a recent interview with the CCSPCA, Wiess said she grew up in Milltown, N.J., where her family always adopted dogs and cats. She said her characters are typically animal lovers, like herself, and she welcomed the opportunity to encourage people to assist the CCSPCA's dedicated staff and volunteers. "My heroes have always been animal lovers, people who go above and beyond to rescue the lost, to ease their suffering and provide comfort, safety, shelter, love and a second chance to find happiness," she said.

For more information about Forget-Me-Not and the CCSPCA's expansion, visit