Randy Robbins, Pilot staff writer

An open invitation has been extended to the Curry County community to attend a "Celebration of Life" ceremony for Catherine Powers at 3 p.m. today (Oct. 12) in Docia Sweet Hall at the fairgrounds in Gold Beach.

Powers, 54, who died of a heart attack on Oct. 2, was a driving force behind transitioning the Curry County Animal Shelter into a successful, non-profit entity Pennies for Pooches, known for successfully finding homes for more 1,000 dogs and cats since 2008.

According to Power's son, Joe Spada, the ceremony will feature several speakers who knew his mother; they will speak about her energy and vision as an animal advocate, a community activist, a law enforcement officer and more.

Green ribbons will be distributed at the door and the public is encouraged to wear them; Powers' favorite color was green.

A potluck planned for the event has been changed to a dessert buffet provided by the event organizers. The family requested that people leave their pets at home for the memorial. A pet-friendly event is scheduled for a yet-to-be-determined date.

Eric Bryant, president of the board of directors of the shelter, said the next Pennies for Pooches board meeting will center around "paying homage to Catherine's good name as our group moves forward."

Ideas being proposed include the possibility of renaming the shelter in her honor and establishing a dog park in Gold Beach.

The Catherine Powers Memorial Fund has been set up at all three county branches of Sterling Bank in Curry County. Those wishing to contribute may do so in person or by mail. Her family has indicated that donations to the animal shelter are welcome, too. Donations can be sent to Pennies for Pooches at P.O. Box 1883, Gold Beach, OR. The website is pennies4pooches.com.