Surrounded by rescue dogs: Is there a more fitting Charlotte goodbye for the Riveras?

Ron Rivera gives back

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Charlotte Observer) - When you’re cleaning out your house to move, that’s when you tend to find massive amounts of items you no longer need.

Next logical step: Yard sale, right?

You’re not alone.

In the latest Charlotte celebrities, they’re people too news, the Panthers former head coach, Ron Rivera, and his wife, Stephanie, had the exact same idea. The Riveras are moving to Washington, D.C., where Ron got a new job.

On Saturday, the Humane Society of Charlotte hosted a Ron Rivera-Panthers Yard Sale, selling new and gently used items donated by the Riveras. Also for sale were items belonging to and signed by Cam Newton, Greg Olsen and Luke Kuechly.

Shoppers could also get memorabilia signed by Ron for an extra $5 donation.

“We wanted to make sure we gave back every opportunity we could. This is kind of our swan song, our last opportunity to say thank you one more time,” Ron said on Saturday before the sale.

And it worked. Three thousand people showed up — and a total of $30,237 was raised.

The line to get into the sale wrapped all the way down Toomey Avenue almost to Remount Road.

People waited patiently to buy Panthers-branded polos belonging to Ron, hoodies that were Stephanie’s, a kennel that was once their dog Tahoe’s and signed hats, jackets and more.

Even Tahoe and his new sister, Sierra, were on hand for snuggles and pets from fans.

Sierra was adopted from the Humane Society in November and seems to fit right in with the Rivera clan. A dog DNA test revealed Sierra has terrier, lab and a mix of other heritages, Stephanie told CharlotteFive.

Visitors also stopped in to say hello to the Humane Society’s rescue cats and dogs, patiently waiting for new homes.

HUMANE SOCIETY’S NEW FACILITY

The Humane Society of Charlotte is raising money toward its capital campaign for a new facility, and the Riveras have been instrumental in making that happen. Using campaign money, The Humane Society will build a 46,000-square-foot campus with an ultimate goal of enhanced care.

The new facility, to be located at 2401 Berryhill Road, will include expanded clinic services, an outdoor dog park and an education center. The current facility is almost 50 years old and is dated. “Right now it’s roach-infested and unsafe. The kennels are dilapidated,” Donna Stucker, vice president of philanthropy with the Humane Society, told CharlotteFive last year.

On Saturday, Stucker said the team was excited to be hosting the yard sale. “We love Ron and Stephanie. We’ve been working with them directly for nine years and we’ve just been so thankful for everything they’ve done in terms of bringing awareness to our organization’s mission. They recently adopted from us. They’re just great ambassadors.”

Thus far, the Humane Society has raised $11.5 million and is $2.5 million away from being able to start construction. “Even though we know its no small amount to be raised, we feel like we are so close,” Emily Cook of the Humane Society told CharlotteFive this week.