By Julia Barnett
IBERIABANK on Marco Island has held nine shred parties to date, each with a different theme. On Saturday, February 23, they held their tenth, the first to include a most beloved kind of family member, pets. Dubbed the Patriotic Pet Shred Party—shredding paper, not pets—the event included pet professionals, a pet parade, and Shred-It professionals to assist in eradicating any and all personal documents brought to them.
Identity theft is a large, widespread issue , and one of the ways an identity can be stolen is by access to personal documents—things like bank statements, contracts, checks, and junk mail. The best to prevent these sorts of documents from being stolen and used is by shredding them beyond recognition, into a puzzle that can never be pieced together. IBERIABANK understands this, and wants their customers, as well as other Marco residents and visitors, to feel safe and secure, and are, therefore, pleased to offer shred parties to give the people that security of a document well-shredded.
Having always wanted to do a “pet day,” Keith Dameron of IBERIABANK decided to mix shredding with pets—again, shredding paper—and the Patriotic Pet Shred Party was born. Joining the shredding services company Shred-It were several pet professionals, including Dr. Garrison of the Marco Veterinary Hospital, celebrity dog trainer Mike Miller, the Naples Humane Society (complete with puppies for adoption), and Jessica Hadraba and her dog Annie, representing the Critter Café Boarding and Grooming. These professionals were there to offer their advice and expertise, answer any questions, and share in their love for animals.
Also in attendance was Erin Winkowski of Paws4Pics, a photography company specializing in pictures of dogs, international artist Malenda Trick showcasing some pet portraits, and For the Love of Cats, a local organization dedicated to rescuing, protecting, and finding good homes for cats.
There were over 100 participants in the shred, filling the Shred-it truck that collects the paper and takes it away to be recycled. Over the last nine shred parties, over 40 tons of paper have been shredded, and all recycled. There was a $2 donation for each box or bag to be shredded, the proceeds going to the Big Flag Maintenance Fund.
There were also quite a few participants in the pet parade contest, with first, second, and third prizes awarded to the winners. Said winners were chosen by three celebrity judges—Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala, former news anchor for CNN and ABC Chris Curle, and the Chief Operating Officer with Physicians Regional Healthcare System, Rick LoCastro. Judged on a scale of 1-10, the categories included best Patriotic costume, most creative costume, best trick, and best behaved. The winner of the parade was a black Teacup Poodle named Precious, with quite a story.
Precious was rescued by Debbie Kimack and other volunteers at Wee Waggins Rescue, Inc., from a puppy mill, where she had lived almost half her life in a cardboard box, being repeatedly bred for puppies. When her mommy, Nancy Spender, adopted her, Precious was blind in one eye, and had a broken paw and crushed knee, neither of which have healed. But despite all of that, Precious is a kind, sweet dog, who receives all the love, attention, and affection she deserves, but never got before.
All in all, Saturday’s shred party was a hit, complete with paper shredders and pet lovers. What the eleventh shred party theme will be, the IBERIABANK staff does not know, but it’s sure to be just as much a hit as the tenth—though probably less furry.