Riverhead MTAS gets a new acronym and a new mission

Riverhead MTAS

A familiar acronym in Riverhead’s volunteer community isn’t changing, but its meaning will.

Formerly known as “Riverhead Move The Animal Shelter,” the local volunteer group Riverhead MTAS has changed its name to “Riverhead Making Towns A Success.”

The group’s founder, Denise Lucas, said MTAS changed its mission to help more people and organizations within the community, including veterans and soup kitchens.

“After raising money for dogs, we realized there are a lot of worthy groups out there that we can help with,” Ms. Lucas said.

The group’s popular fundraisers like Hogs & Hot Rods at Splish Splash will continue, she added.

In September, Ms. Lucas, announced Riverhead Move The Animal Shelter would soon shut down. Tuesday’s fundraiser at Polish Hall was the last one for Riverhead Move The Animal Shelter.

All the money raised over the last four years for those efforts will remain in an account dedicated for relocating the shelter, she said.

The new Riverhead MTAS logo. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo photos)
The new Riverhead MTAS logo. (Credit: Jen Nuzzo photos)

The nonprofit has raised close to $200,000 in total, Ms. Lucas said. After expenses — the cost of largely paying for not one dog park but two, advertising, venues, food, etc. — over $80,000 remains left in the bank, she said.

She founded the group with the mission of moving the municipal shelter from Youngs Avenue to a new home. The town animal shelter is currently run by the North Fork Animal Welfare League, which has announced the beginning of a capital campaign to raise $1 million for a new 21-pen shelter next to the town’s Henry Pfeifer Community Center in Calverton.

The first fundraiser for the new Riverhead MTAS will be a defensive driving course Nov. 14 at the VFW Hall in Riverhead.

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Top photo: From left, Riverhead MTAS board member Lindsay Reeve, president Denise Lucas and vice president Fred McLaughlin at Tuesday’s fundraiser.

Correction: An earlier version of this article noted that RMTAS had raised over $250,000. It has raised close to $200,000.