Desoto County News

Crye-Leike agents raise thousands for Blackwell Animal Rescue Center

Photo: Auction items for the benefit. (Courtesy photo)

Realtors and employees of Crye-Leike Real Estate Services’ West Tennessee and North Mississippi branch offices recently raised over $7,000 to benefit the Blackwell Animal Rescue Center (BARC). A two-day auction and split-pot drawing was held at the Crye-Leike Memphis – Quail Hollow office, where attendees were able to bid on items such as box seats for a Memphis Grizzlies game, tickets for a Tennessee Titans game, designer bags, real estate courses held by Success Real Estate School and much more.

Vicki Blackwell, managing broker of the Crye-Leike Olive Branch office, founded the Blackwell Animal Rescue Center in 2014, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home abused and abandoned animals. Blackwell’s fellow Crye-Leike associates understand how much work she has put into making BARC a safe place for local animals and wanted to hold this special event to support her organization. 

“In 2008, when the real estate market tanked, there was a surge in animals that were left behind in abandoned properties,” said Blackwell. “My mom, Betty Sumler, a broker at Crye-Leike Olive Branch, and I started rescuing these animals and networking to find homes. We are strictly run by volunteers who network and transport these animals to various rescues in the northern states.  Northern states have mandatory spay neuter laws so they do not have an abundance of animals like we have in our area. We specialize in heartworm treatments, spay/neuter and various surgeries needed to remove tumors, broken limbs, etc. We have rescued, rehabilitated and re-homed over 1,500 animals.”

On Dec. 2-3, Crye-Leike agents, employees and local community members filed into the Quail Hollow office to bid on a variety of items and support BARC. Lynda Drake, a Crye-Leike employee, graciously coordinated the entire event.

“I adopted two dogs about nine years ago and saw what rescues like BARC do for these deserving animals, so I decided to put my bargain shopping skills to a good cause,” said Drake. “We hope that we can make this an annual event and make it even more successful in the coming years!”

The event was a huge success and a great example of Crye-Leike’s Core Value of being a “good neighbor”. Crye-Leike extends a huge thank you to all of the amazing people who donated auction items and attended the event.

To learn more about the Blackwell Animal Rescue Center’s adoption, foster, volunteer or donation opportunities, please visit or visit their Facebook page at

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