ST. GEORGE – A St. George resident, Ryan Anderson, won a 5-foot-tall freshly carved wooden black bear and local animal rescue organization, P.A.W.S., received $1,308 as beneficiary of Monday’s charity event, Chain-Saw for Change, hosted by Black Bear Diner at 1245 S. Main Street in St. George.
Throughout the day the Black Bear Diner company’s master carver Ray Schulz buzzed his chainsaw transforming two large logs into black bears characteristic of the diner’s theme, while members of the public made donations in exchange for raffle tickets hoping to win one of the master carvings while supporting the benefit. The second bear will take up residence at the St. George Black Bear Diner.
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Videocast by Samantha Tommer, St. George News
“Last year it was a different seven stores,” Schulz said. “Every year they pick out new stores for Chain-saw for Change to visit.”
The Spokane, Washington, resident has been on an eight-day bear-carving tour through Oregon, California, Nevada and Utah, with St. George as his last stop.
He has been carving for 20 years, Schulz said. He first fell in love with chainsaw carving when he took a trip through the Redwoods and visited a friend who was a carver. His friend let him carve a couple pieces, he said, and he has not stopped since. He has carved nearly 300 bears for Black Bear Diner.
Randy and Tami Wong, owners of Black Bear Diner in St. George chose P.A.W.S. to be the local charity to receive today’s benefit proceeds.
“The money will go right back into funds we use to save animals in kill shelters. When the kill shelters get full then we need to pull animals out,” Lynn Burger, P.A.W.S. president and director of operations, said.
Last year P.A.W.S. rescued 500 animals, 400 cats and 100 dogs. Since its beginning 13 years ago, P.A.W.S. has saved over 6,000 animals.
“I didn’t really know that Black Bear did so much charity work,” Las Vegas resident Joe Holmes said as he stood by watching the carving. “I think it is really cool that they actually send people out here to do stuff and raffle off these really cool bears for a great cause.”
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