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Jewelry auctioned to benefit humane society

PRINCEVILLE — Lining the walls and stacked on nearly every flat surface of Penny and Tommy Thompson’s Princeville home are framed photographs from decades of their life and the pets they cherished.

“That’s Benny Blue Jay, Sookie the squirrel, a couple cats, another cat, and Mickey the mouse over there,” said Tommy Thompson. “We didn’t have any children together. Penny loved animals.”

It’s clear Tommy Thompson loved animals, too. As he talked about his late wife, a chubby chihuahua named Suzie Q made little snorts from his lap.

The love they shared for animals is part of the reason Tommy Thompson donated 174 items from his late wife’s jewelry collection to the Kaua‘i Humane Society.

“I’m sure this is what she would have wanted. We talked about it enough,” he said earlier this week.

Penny Thompson died last year on March 25 at age 77, after years of struggling with dementia.

The last few years were been particularly difficult, according to Tommy Thompson. The pandemic made trying to get Penny Thompson into a long-term-care facility nearly impossible. He cared for her as her physical and mental states deteriorated. She entered a long-term-care facility for just the last few weeks of her life.

Collecting jewelry was a hobby of hers, and when she passed, he was ready to gift his wife’s beloved collection on to her niece and KHS.

He spent months finding each piece of jewelry. As her dementia progressed in the final years of her life, she began hiding her jewelry in obscure places around the house. He carefully cataloged each piece, matching each item to its receipt when available.

He estimates that the donated collection is worth about $23,000.

Malama Auctions, contracted to help KHS sell the jewelry, kept the pieces in the exact order that he had organized them.

The first item up for sale is her wedding ring, with an estimated value of $2,000. He hopes that this sentimental piece will bring in a good amount of funds to help KHS animals in need.

Bids for the jewelry pieces can be made at malamaauctions.com.

The auction is scheduled to end on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. All items need to be picked up on Feb. 9 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. in Kapa‘a or arranged to be shipped.

This is the first time that KHS has received a donation like this.

While most donors think of legacy gifts as strictly monetary, KHS Director of Development Tanya Ramseth encourages anyone who wants to support KHS to reach out to the KHS development team.

According to Ramseth, the funds from the auction will be used to support lifesaving work caring for the animals at the shelter near Puhi. Money raised from the auction will help with day-to-day care, such as food, playtime, enrichment activities and medications.

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Laurel Smith, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 245-0424 or lsmith@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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