ALBERTA - About six years ago, Dave Stimac was noticing a disturbing trend in his hometown of Alberta.
"People would leave animals out here," Stimac said. "They'd just drop their dog or cat outside of their car and take off."
In an effort to help these animals, Stimac opted to start donating to the Copper Country Humane Society.
"It's trying to help the animals because they can't do anything for themselves," Stimac said. "The interaction between people and animals is really something, it makes people better, so we chose (the Humane Society) for our big charity."
The choice has benefited the CCHS in a big way, as Stimac, who has a business titled "Nature's Way Woodworking," has donated six of his Birds Eye and Gem coffee tables since then, and helped raise more than $50,000 for the organization.
"Seeing the support and the people involved with the Copper Country Humane Society is unbelievable," Stimac said. "It's tremendous; the people are dedicated, and when you see something run really well - it's a no-kill shelter, and you like being a part of something that good."
Stimac, a former employee of the mill in Alberta, began making tables in about 1994. He collects rock specimens from all over the world and integrates them into his birdseye maple tables, some of which are valued at $25,000 to $30,000.
"It's just my thing," Stimac said.
Although they are quite time-consuming, Stimac enjoys making the tables and actually has already completed the tables he plans to donate to the CCHS in 2013 and 2014.
"We always put the Copper Country Humane Society logo in there engraved," Stimac said. "I've got the woodworking done but I just need to put the stones in. I select different woods for different years."
His donation has become a bit of tradition at the CCHS, which Stimac is pleased to see.
"Everybody's so used to it that they look forward to the next year," Stimac said. "It's cool, people from Rapid City, S.D., Bark River, Newaygo, Clare, Mich., and Florence, Wis., have all won them."
For the future, Stimac has his eyes set on a bigger goal for the CCHS.
"What we're trying to do is I will donate a big table, a $10,000 or $15,000 table," Stimac said. "Then we'll figure out the marketing to go nationwide where you could try and raise a quarter million for it, and really put them on the map. It's a snowball effect we want to get going."
Eight tables and six years later, Stimac shows no signs of slowing down.
"As long as I'm breathing, we'll be making them and we'll be donating to the Humane Society," he said.
For more information about Stimac, visit birdseye-connection.com. For more information on the Humane Society, visit cchumanesociety.com.