Woman's estate gives $10K to animal nonprofit

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The estate of the late Currituck County resident Shirley Light Falls presented a $10,000 check to the Animal Lovers Assistance League, Friday. On hand for the donation were (l-r) James H. Falls III, Joy Roberson, Paige Falls and Animal Lovers Assistance League President Ginger Sikes.

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By William F. West
Staff Writer

Monday, July 9, 2018

CURRITUCK — Shirley Light Falls was such an animal lover she named the long private drive to her rural northern Currituck County home after her dog, a female Chihuahua named Joyful.

So it’s not surprising Falls, who died on Jan. 13 at age 82, would leave a large amount of money for the care of needy animals upon her death. Falls’ estate bequeaths $10,000 to the Animal Lovers Assistance League, a nonprofit, home-based animal rescue and foster care organization in Currituck.

On Friday, two members of Falls’ family, along with the executrix of her estate, presented a facsimile of the $10,000 check to Animal Lovers Assistance League President Ginger Sikes at Shirley Falls’ residence in the Gibbs Woods community in Currituck.

"We're overjoyed," Sikes said. "It will help us help more animals."

Sikes said the Animal Lovers Assistance League is working toward establishing a no-kill shelter.

Shirley Falls’ son, James H. Falls III, said his mother’s decision to leave $10,000 to the Animal Lovers Assistance League was fantastic.

"I’m glad she did it. I wish she could have left them more," James said.

Gay Roberson, an income tax preparer in Virginia Beach, Virginia, who was Shirley Falls’ neighbor and served as executrix of her estate, said the $10,000 was the only donation Falls left for an organization.

Roberson said she knew Falls a long time. She said Falls had great affection for her dog Joyful.

“She thought the world of that dog,” Roberson said.

Asked why her mom liked animals so much, Falls’ daughter, Paige smiled and quipped, "Probably because they didn't talk back to her."

"She liked animals so much that she had a few dogs," Paige said. "Finally my dad told her: No more."

Like her brother, Paige is happy her mother left $10,000 to the Animal Lovers Assistance League.

"I've had a soft heart for animals, too, because I've got a cat," she said, adding that the animal, named White Paws, is a 15-year-old female.

Founded in 2005, the Animal Lovers Assistance League has twice received the nonprofit organization of the year honor in Currituck the past 10 years.

Besides helping rescue animals and find them foster care, the organization provides education programs to schoolchildren on the proper care of animals. It also sponsors Bark in the Park, an annual family-oriented dog show. This year's event is set for Oct. 13 and will be held on the grounds of J.P. Knapp Early College.