PASADENA, Calif. (October 18, 2015) – – The Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA has received a record-breaking $5 million donation. The gift will help the shelter continue to provide compassion and care to the nearly 12,000 animals taken in each year.
The generous gift was left by the estate of Mr. Jaromír Střížka, a longtime Southern California resident, who passed away this March at the age of 95. Mr. Střížka amassed his fortune through the Studio City-based European Crafts, Inc., a wholesale musical instrument and supply store that he founded in 1953 and ran until 2014.
This is the single largest donation in the Pasadena Humane Society’s 113-year history. In commemoration, the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA will name its animal shelter after Mr. Střížka.
“We are so proud to name our Animal Shelter wing for Jaromír Střížka. Because of his generosity to the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA, animals locally will benefit directly from his giving,” added Carol Kirby, Chairman of the PHS Board of Directors.
“Mr. Střížka was born in 1919 in what is now the Czech Republic. An accomplished athlete and successful businessman in his home country, Mr. Střížka fled Czechoslovakia as the Communist Party rose to power following the Second World War. He immigrated to the United States in 1953, and began his life anew in Hollywood, California. Mr. Střížka was a resident of the Hollywood Hills at the time of his death.
Mr. Střížka had a lifelong respect for all animals. He regularly donated to World Wildlife Fund, The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and other animal welfare organizations.
Friends remember Mr. Střížka’s special affinity for cats. “He always seemed to have cat calendars hanging in his office or as his personal appointment book,” says Michael Overing, Mr. Střížka’s personal attorney.
The large gift will be used towards animal care, shelter services and programs, such as pet adoption, humane education, animal control and public spay/neuter services.
“Jaromír Střížka’s generosity will ensure the success of PHS programs and services for years to come,” said Steve McNall, President and CEO of the Pasadena Humane Society. “His compassion and commitment to all animals will live on at the Pasadena Humane Society.”