Gwendolyn’s Wish, Inc. is a nonprofit founded in late October 2014 by three women who met while volunteering at Heritage Humane Society in Williamsburg, Virginia. Drawn together by a shared passion for providing enrichment and training activities to shelter dogs, we decided to take our commitment to helping pets out into our community. By offering support to pet owners in need, our goal is to keep pets and caring owners together.
Cynthia Rogers – President For 30 years, Cindy moved around the country for her husband’s career, living in California, Ohio, Missouri and New Jersey, just to name a few. Cindy has held a variety of management positions and gained organizational experience that would prove invaluable as an active volunteer. When her husband retired, they settled in Williamsburg and Cindy joined the Heritage Humane Society Auxiliary in 2001. Cindy served on several Auxiliary committees such as Bark in the Park, Holiday Bazaar, Fashion Show and Non-Event and was president from 2011-2013. Around the same time she began walking shelter dogs and discovered a passion for working with individual dogs so they could successfully transition from life in a kennel to a new home. Cindy assisted a local dog trainer with a beginner’s class and then used those new skills in her work with shelter dogs. She took dogs on field trips into the community and fostered several dogs that needed a vacation from the stress of shelter life. One of Cindy’s favorite activities was matching potential adopters with just the right pet. She was able to see first hand how important a pet is to so many families and the special joy they bring to people of all ages and walks of life. Cindy lives with her husband Bob, their dog Barley and two cats named Rosebud and Nicky. She is also the designated guardian for her friend Gwynn’s dog, Toots, who visits regularly.
Teresa Parkhouse – Vice President Teri has a degree in psychology from University of Redlands and, after attending Officer Candidate School, earned an officer’s commission in the US Navy in 2000. In 2004, she left the Navy and moved to Williamsburg with her husband. In 2006, she not only earned a degree from the Virginia School of Massage in Charlottesville but opened her heart and home to a special dog. Diamond was an American Bulldog mix and Teri, a newbie at pet ownership, was shocked when she experienced first hand the prejudice that exists for dogs labeled “pit bulls.” In response to this injustice, Teri became an active advocate for pit bull type dogs and volunteered with Ring Dog Rescue (Richmond, VA) as a foster care manager, grant writer and event organizer. From 2008 to 2014 she also volunteered at Heritage Humane Society as a dog walker, dog foster, rescue partner liaison, dog behavior consultant, and off-site event coordinator. Teri found special satisfaction in working one-on-one with shelter dogs to modify behavior issues, offer enriching activities and training, and to provide fun field trips outside the shelter. Teri was recruited to join the Heritage Humane Society Auxiliary in 2011 and, in addition to co-chairing two fashion shows, served as president from 2013 to 2015. In 2014, she combined her love of swimming and her passion for animals and swam solo around the island of Key West to raise money for HHS. She, husband Jason, and 4-year-old son Lawson share their home with Fat Boy, a Ring Dog Rescue alum.
Peggy Scholley – Treasurer/Secretary Peggy earned a BA from William & Mary and an MA from George Washington University, intending to be a museum curator. But love and marriage took her down a different road. She spent six years in fundraising and public relations at Salem College (NC), Virginia Commonwealth University, and TheatreVirginia. A move to Wisconsin and an interest in quiltmaking led to board positions on the Wisconsin Quilt History Project and Wisconsin Quilters, Inc. In 1998, her husband’s career brought them to Williamsburg. Although she and her husband had pets they’d taken in as strays, she had never been to a shelter. In 2003, at the urging of a friend, she volunteered as a dog walker at Heritage Humane Society and discovered a passion for helping shelter animals. Peggy was recruited to the HHS Board of Directors in 2004 and served for six years (Capital Campaign Committee, Resource Development Committee chair, board secretary, board president). After her time on the board ended, she spent four more years walking dogs, fostering kittens and cats, introducing dogs to potential adopters, and working offsite adoption events. She especially loved providing enrichment opportunities to help dogs cope with the stress of shelter life and became a “life coach” to dogs that needed extra attention. She and husband Luke Beckerdite share their home with four rescued dogs — Gracie, Athena, TugTug, and Chappy — and two cats, Bob and Eli.