Twila Collins is the Cat’s Meow of STP
Last month the Chamber wrapped up its efforts with the Seattle-to-Portland ride that swoops through Centralia and Chehalis each year in July. COVID suspended the ride for two years making 2022 the first time since 2019 riders embarked on their annual journey.
In June Business Connections featured John Camenzind who has been volunteering with the STP efforts organized by the Chamber for 20 years. Twila Collins is the other half of this dynamic duo that takes care of the snacks and lunches for riders passing through Penny Park in Chehalis.
Collins was introduced to the STP experience in 2011 when she began a part-time job at the Chamber as part of her educational requirements while working on her business degree at Centralia Community College.
Camenzind was already volunteering at the time and the two quickly became a great team. “John was my reason I kept coming back,” said Twila. 2022 marks her tenth STP. She immediately contacted the Chamber when she realized there was new management and offered to help. “We are so grateful that Twila reached out to us,” noted Chamber Office Manager Chris DeMus. “Twila and John took a huge burden off our shoulders and we just love them both.”
Originally a Civil Engineer student, Collins changed her degree in 2011 when she realized that non-profit management was her true calling. On July 4, 2009, she and her daughter trapped and gathered about 20 feral cats from a nearby gas station. That effort was the starting point of creating her own non-profit, The Cat’s Meow Spay, Neuter & Adoption Project, whose mission is to reduce euthanasia as a means of population control.
By 2011 The Cat’s Meow was a 501 ( c ) 3 and since then Collins has made more than 250 trips to shelters in Lynwood, Washington, transporting over 9,000 cats for services. Operations were suspended during COVID, but the facilities are again operational. For those who want to assist, The Cat’s Meow needs in-kind contributions of laundry soap, bleach, paper towels, garbage bags, dry cat food (without red dye), and canned food. Cash donations are always welcome to pay for veterinary services. Visit www.catsmeowsnap.org to learn more about how to help.