Volunteers of the Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry and Rich’s Auto Center Owners, Rich and Cindy Elzey pause for a photo with Charlie at last year’s Charlie’s Birthday Bash.

Each year, thousands of families in the Fort Wayne area are faced with the heartbreaking decision of whether they should surrender their beloved family pet to the shelter, because they cannot afford to feed and take care of them. Because of COVID-related layoffs and the nationwide economic decline, the Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry has never been busier, working with families to provide what is often the most expensive part of owning a pet, their food.

With it being such a dire year for fundraising and food-raising pet food for the pantry, the Rich’s Auto Center shop dog, Charlie, is holding his annual birthday bash on Saturday, October 24 from 1-4pm at Rich’s Auto Center 2135 Sandpoint Road in Fort Wayne.

The aptly named “Charlie’s Birthday Bash” is a great chance for the public to help pets through Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry. Instead of gifts, Charlie is asking for dry dog and/ or cat food or cash donations. Plus, with your donation you will be entered in a chance to win $250 worth of service at Rich’s Auto Center.

“Come enjoy human refreshments, snacks and a piece of birthday cake with me and your furry friends. There will door prizes, photo opportunities and a chance to find a new member for your family with the Fort Wayne Pitbull Coalition on hand with some adoptable dogs.” Charlie, the Rich’s Auto Center shop dog continued, “I also want to make sure my furry friends are returned home quickly and safely if they are ever lost, so, microchips will also be available and administered by a vet technician during the event (donations appreciated).”

No RSVP is necessary to come to the party, so, come out and enjoy a visit with Charlie at Rich’s Auto Center where there is a history of servicing our community through our business and hands on commitment to local non-profit organizations. For those who cannot attend the event in person, donations may also be dropped off prior to the event.

According to Rich’s Auto Center Owner, Cindy Elzey, Charlie loves to be around furry friends and cares that their basic needs are met, like food, safety, shelter and most of all love! Last year was so successful, Charlie is excited for this year’s party and hopes that you will consider helping those pets in dire need this year too!

For more information, email Cindy Elzey at or the Fort Wayne Pet Food Pantry at

Alex Cornwell
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Alex Cornwell

The Owner & Publisher of The Waynedale News. Alex is a community leader and founder of various organizations, events & improvement initiatives in the area. He is also the recipient of 2019's Allen County Vandeveer Impact Award and 2012's University of Saint Francis' Distinguished Young Alumni Award. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer