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Austin Edwards is only ten years old, but he is already committed to making a difference in the community. Austin attends Inland Leaders Charter School and as part of his service project requirement, he decided to raise funds for Yucaipa Animal Placement Society through an ongoing series of donations from his car races in 2014.  Falling in love with the YAPS Center and the homeless pets it serves Austin’s service project has quickly become an ongoing passion that is well into its second year. 


He developed a wonderful business model that he has implemented to raise the funds at the many racing venues he visits in a season. Quick Paws for YAPS is his program and his ongoing efforts have raised well over $6,500 for the animals at YAPS.  Before every race Austin can be found greeting fans and selling the paw stickers to the attendees with all the proceeds raised from the paws going directly for YAPS.  The fans can purchase the stickers for $5 and decorate them to their liking and then they are placed on Austin’s race car for the duration of the racing season.

“Austin’s is such an amazing kid!  His enthusiasm for our cause is inspiring,” said YAPS Executive Director, Nicole Laffey.  “YAPS is fortunate to have his ongoing support.  Not only is he proactive about generating funds for our pets, he also enjoys being hands on at the Center helping out every week.”

Austin races #18 in Southwest Tour truck Series and also races Bandolero Bandits, driving upwards of 70 mph at tracks all throughout the region, from the Orange Show Speedway to Las Vegas and everywhere in between.  Austin is quite the driver consistently on the podium, which allows for yet another means for the young driver to raise awareness for pets every time he speaks. 

“I’m really into dogs and cats and that’s why I chose to raise the money,” said Austin. “Plus I try to use my allowance to bring in blankets, toys and treats for the animals. I love the pets at YAPS and I am going to keep helping.”

Austin is currently seeking sponsors for the 2015-2016 racing season. A portion of the sponsorship goes to the YAPS Center and the rest goes towards Austin’s racing expenses and keeping him on the track to continue raising awareness for homeless pets. Those interested in helping this up and coming young driver can contact Austin’s proud parents, Tony and Heidi Edwards at (909)771-9247.   

 At the Yucaipa City Council meeting on Dec.14, the city of Yucaipa presented a Capital Improvement Grant to Executive Director of YAPS (The Yucaipa Animal Placement Society) Annette Florez, in the amount of $50,000.

Fellow board members Jolena Grider and Denise Work accompanied Florez for the evening presentation.

“I am here to say thank you to Councilmember Riddell for all his hard work on our behalf and to the rest of the council for always being there to support YAPS, we sincerely appreciate it,” said Florez.

Councilmember Dick Riddell said, “On behalf of the council I would like to present this check of $50,000 to YAPS to complete its quarantine building. YAPS has been a favorite charity of mine for many years. I want everyone to understand that this was unanimous by the city council."

 Florez said, “I just want to thank everybody here for this as it is the biggest donation YAPS has received to date.”

“This is going to be altering for our organization. At this point now we have been working really hard on our K-9 holding area.

“This gives us promise to enclose the area, to save more pets and to be a better resource to our local community as well as our outlying communities … It means everything, not only to us but to the pets that are homeless at YAPS,” Florez said.

Written by Michelle Lopez as printed by News Mirror



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YAPS Receives Capital Improvement Grant …

 At the Yucaipa City Council meeting on Dec.14, the city of Yucaipa presented a Capital Improvement Grant to Executive Director of YAPS (The Yucaipa Animal...

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