Introducing the First Ever APA Lifetime Advocate Award

We are excited to announce our first ever recipients of the APA’s Lifetime Advocate Award, in recognition of exceptional dedication to the welfare of animals and the betterment of our region for pets and their people.  

Our Lifetime Advocate Award is given with gratitude to Bill and Diane Lacey, long-time champions, friends, and leaders at the Animal Protective Association of Missouri.  

Bill and Diane have served in various leadership roles at the APA and have stewarded the organization through several major transitions, including the renovation of the lobby, the development of new and expanded programs, new leadership, and now our centennial. Over their decades of service, they have dedicated countless hours to large and small projects. They have been collaborators and visionaries, always encouraging the APA to respond to emergent needs in our community and for our pets. As adopters, they have experienced the magic of an APA love-story up close and have helped invite others to do the same. They are steadfast in their support, bold in their ideas, and generous with their time. We could ask for no better friends and advocates.  

Bill and Diane are incredible champions, and we are honored to give them our first ever, Lifetime Advocate Award. Please join us in celebrating them at our upcoming Birthday Bash and Canine Carnival on September 24th & 25th!  

A conversation with Diane Lacey:  

You’ve been involved in the APA for a long time. How did you first get involved, and what was it about the organization that captured your heart? 

I became a volunteer many years ago and was immediately impressed with the APA and their mission. We have always had pets in our family. Bill spent most of his career at Purina, so being involved at the APA was a natural fit for both of us. When Nancy Grove invited me to join the Board, I was eager to contribute. I served on the Board for many years. As a result, Bill and I always supported the organization. It has always been a passion we shared. It was a natural transition for Bill to take my Board seat when I stepped down. We have continued to support the organization together for decades. 

Describe your favorite memory of the APA and share why it is so special. 

I have many favorite memories of the APA. The concept of bringing people and pets together in a loving home has brought me much pleasure. I feel proud of the organization and the people who work there. We have encouraged a number of people to adopt pets at the APA. Over the years we have adopted several pets from the APA for our family. My most special memory is adopting a little black and white kitten that had been abandoned twice. During his lifetime Sammy lived with several pets in our home, and he always adapted. He lived to be 

almost 22 years old. I have loved all the pets in my life, but Sammy was a special blessing. Thank you, APA! 

What do you think makes the APA so special and why do you choose to support us? 

We have been involved with other animal organizations. None of them have had people as highly committed and personally involved as the APA. This makes the APA stand-alone within the industry.  

You’ve seen the APA through a lot of changes over the years and have played a big part in who we are today. What are you most proud of in terms of our work? 

The APA has evolved into a dynamic, flexible organization with a well-defined mission. Whatever the circumstances, the management team has quickly and creatively adapted without compromising their high standards. One of the most important assets of the APA has been continuity of leadership. This has enabled the organization to efficiently manage their finances and be highly successful in their fundraising efforts. 

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