Language arts raises funds for Vet Tech in honor of colleague

MJ Lewis was a long-time speech instructor at WCC. – Courtesy of Desi Poteet

In Fall 2014, WCC’s language arts department initiated a fundraiser for the Vet Tech program to honor long-time speech instructor MJ Lewis, who passed away in May 2014.

“MJ loved animals and supported WCC’s Vet Tech program, so this seemed like a perfect way to honor her,” said language arts department chair Robert Barclay. “Initially, our goal was to raise $750 and name a cat condo in her name.”

Less than three years later, the fund has grown to 10 times the original amount and MJ’s colleagues have a new goal: to raise $10,000 and dedicate the cat holding room–where cats wait in roomy cages for treatment–in her honor.

WCC’s Vet Tech program, the first in Hawai‘i, is a rigorous program that trains future veterinary technicians. It has since expanded to include training programs on the neighbor islands.

“The funds raised for WCC’s Vet Tech program pay for medical care, such as spay and neuter surgeries or dental cleanings; supplies and tests, which can run as much as $100 per patient; and continuing education for technician instructors,” said Jenny Kelly, Vet Tech program director.

For more information on how to honor MJ and support WCC’s Vet Tech program, visit or contact fundraising coordinator Desi Poteet at


by Desi Poteet, Special to Ka ‘Ohana