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Lee County animal shelter dedicated

Photo by Laura Williams

Photo by Laura Williams

LEESBURG, Ga. -- Dr. Phillip Hajek graciously accepted recognition for he and his colleagues at Musculoskeletal Associates' contributions in completing the Lee County animal facility that officially became the Fifth Friday Foundation Animal Shelter Friday.

But Hajek warned that the job of humanely caring for the county's discarded animals is only beginning.

"Bricks and mortar are easy," Hajek said during a dedication ceremony at the shelter's 101 Mossy Dell Road location. "Once they're in place, though, it becomes about taking care of these animals every day."

Hajek, with the support of his colleagues -- Dr. Steven Ganzel, Dr. Ki-Hon Lin and Dr. Franklin Thomas -- started the Fifth Friday Foundation to help deserving charitable organizations in the community. They donate office proceeds collected every fifth Friday to the foundation.

After an office visit from Lee Commission Chairman Ed Duffy, who discussed the county's funding issues surrounding its planned animal shelter, Hajek decided to get the foundation involved. By the time the facility was finished, the Fifth Friday Foundation had contributed more than $216,000.

"We would not be dedicating this building today without the generosity of the Fifth Friday Foundation," Duffy said at Friday's event, attended by more than 40 citizens. "And while Dr. Hajek, his partners and the foundation were the largest benefactors, we also want to say a special thanks to everyone who donated to this project.

"In addition the the Fifth Friday Foundation's $216,000 contribution, another $114,000 was donated, including $50,000 by one anonymous donor. I've been, frankly, stunned by the generosity of the people in this community. Lee County appreciates it, and I know the animals will appreciate it."

Information about adopting pets or making donations to the shelter is available online at www.lee.ga.us.