VOLUNTEER OF THE WEEK: Ashley Gatian does some paw-some work in the community

Published 8:00 am Sunday, November 27, 2022

This week’s Vicksburg Post Volunteer of the Week volunteers with River City Kitty TNR (Trap, Neuter, Release) and as a Vicksburg Main Street Board Member. Ashley Gatian, originally from Star, Miss., is currently the Sales and Marketing Manager for the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. She is the chairperson for the Vicksburg Main Street Program and sits on the board for the River City Public Relations Association of Mississippi, the Public Relations Association of Mississippi (PRAM) and the Mississippi Society of Association Executives. She is also an active member of the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce and was a chairperson for the United Way campaign in 2020. Since joining the Convention and Visitors Bureau, Gatian has earned CTIS and TMP designations and is currently enrolled in the Excellence in Tourism Program through Mississippi Tourism Association and Mississippi State University. In her spare time, Gatian enjoys traveling, live music and spending time with her daughter, Shelby. 

How did you start volunteering for the River City Kitty TNR and being a Vicksburg Main Street Board member?

I became a Vicksburg Main Street Board Member in 2021. River City Kitty TNR (release, not rescue) was founded in 2020 to help spay and neuter stray cats in Vicksburg. I and Julie Ford are the co-founders of this organization.

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How long have you been volunteering with River City Kitty TNR and the Vicksburg Main Street Board?

Since 2020 with River City Kitty TNR and since 2021 with Vicksburg Main Street Program.

What is your favorite memory while volunteering with River City Kitty TNR and Vicksburg Main Street Board?

I have a lot of favorite memories with River City Kitty TNR. Every time we spay or neuter a cat we help thousands not be born on the streets. Cats multiply quickly so quick intervention is key. My favorite memory with Vicksburg Main Street Board has been working on the Gordon’s Alley project. I have loved seeing the enhancements made to that very important downtown area.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering? 

Volunteers are so important to our community. Please consider finding an organization or cause that you are passionate about and devote your time to that cause! We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers.

What are some of your volunteer tasks with River City Kitty TNR and as a Vicksburg Main Street Board member?

​​For River City Kitty TNR, volunteers can serve by assisting with the trapping and transport of animals to the vet. We also need volunteers to socialize stray kittens that are found or brought to our organization. We are not a rescue organization but we try to assist homeless animals in any way that we can. For Vicksburg Main Street Program, we need volunteers for our many events throughout the year like parades, the Easter egg hunt, Bricks and Spokes, Christmas events and more.

What have you learned from volunteering with these two organizations?

I have learned that these organizations wouldn’t be able to thrive without the hard work of volunteers. Volunteers are crucial to any organization and are so very appreciated for their time and effort. I have met some wonderful people and done some wonderful things through these organizations. I look forward to hopefully welcoming new volunteers to assist with both organizations in the future.

Any additional comments?

As the co-founder of River City Kitty TNR, I would like to thank some other people that we couldn’t do this without. Those additional volunteers are Julie Ford, Karen Kirk, Sheri McBride, Sharon Prewitt, Kacie Lindsey with the City of Vicksburg Animal Shelter and the staff of Vicksburg Animal Hospital. Without their help, none of this would be possible.

If there is a volunteer who should be featured, please submit their name and contact information to volunteer@vicksburgpost.com.