Brian and Lisa Duelfer, left and center, with local animal shelter manager Ryan Moore at the Animal Care Center.
RENDEZVOUS BAY — With their Villa Tesori overlooking the beauty of Fish Bay, Reef Bay and Monte Bay, owners Brian and Lisa Duelfer do all they can to look out for the well-being of the St. John Animal Care Center.
The Duelfer have announced they will make annual donations to the ACC and have pledged to donate a percentage of the annual revenue from their villa rentals to the St. John animal shelter and want to encourage other island vacation homeowners to join them.
“We are people who have been given an ability to help and believe it is our responsibility to do so,” Lisa explained. “We normally hide from publicity, but the beauty of the islands and the generosity and kindness of its people overwhelmed our need for privacy.”
The couple is encouraging other villa owners to follow their example.
“We are blessed and believe we should pay it forward,” said the Duelfers. “We have chosen to donate a percentage (two percent) of the gross revenue from Villa Tesori to the ACC, with a guaranteed minimum dollar amount.”
The guaranteed minimum is $5,000 and the proceeds will be dispersed monthly.
The couple is involved in several charities that focus on donating percentages from business proceeds, but they opted to focus on the Animal Care Center because of their previous involvement.
“As I make it a point to visit the ACC on every visit and walk the dogs as often as possible it makes sense for us to support them,” said the Duelfers. “Further we have agreed to donate a week at Villa Tesori (seven nights, off-season, maximum 10 guests) for next year’s fundraising auction for the ACC.”
The weekly rental value of the home is $7,600
“To us pets are furry children. No matter how bad your day, when you walk in the door you are greeted by unbounded love and joy,” the Duelfers explained as they reflected upon their motivation for this donation effort. The couple remarked on the joy animals can give people.
“From the moment that they see you come to get them, they know they are going for a walk,” the couple added of their ACC friends. “No matter how bad your day, those first few steps make your heart sing.”
The Duelfers also disclosed the other ways they support the Animal Care Center.
“While in Pennsylvania I am shameless in asking my friends and others for support of the ACC. It is not uncommon for us to bring down a suitcase or two of items for the shelter,” explained the Duelfers. “A number of pet-related businesses have been kind enough to give us items to share with the shelter.”
“It is our hope that with the help of our contribution and that of others, (shelter manager) Ryan and his group are able to find permanent homes for all the rescues in the islands,” they added.
The couple is already receiving support for their decision.
“Laura and John Brego of Destination St. John, our property managers, were not only supportive but quickly offered to waive their fee for the donated week,” explained Lisa Duelfer.
“It turns out that Laura had been closely involved in the ACC previously and is very supportive of our effort on their behalf,” she added. “She will arrange for donations guests leave at Villa Tesori make it to the ACC if the guest is unable to get to the shelter on their own.”
“Brian’s employer Ameriprise is matching a portion of our donation,” she continued.
To those interested in giving back to the islands, the Duelfers had this to say:
“While we have chosen to publicly adopt the ACC, we also support other worthwhile causes in the Virgin Islands. We would hope that every Villa owner choose at least one worthy cause in the islands to help maintain and support its beauty and people.”