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The Heart of the Matter

How three locally-based artists show their love for animals.

Julie Betts Testwuide 

Award-Winning Photographer & Artist 

The power that lies within a Julie Betts Testwuide photograph is so encompassing that it can leave one speechless, for one doesn’t simply view her photography, yet instead looks right through it to the soul of the subject. Julie’s astute eye and intuitive vision translate to her art, giving every piece a depth that pulls you into the most breathtaking moment, as if you were beside her to capture it. Beyond the magic of her work is the magic of Julie herself, whose whimsy and wonder have led her around the world photographing the animals she most loves: horses. 

“I begged for a horse as a young girl and began helping at a stable in exchange for riding at age 13,” said Julie. “In 1985, my husband and I bought our first horse from the pet section of the Pennysaver.” Julie later owned Icelandic horses on her idyllic farm in Katonah, one of which became a therapeutic riding horse for veterans with PTSD and autistic children. “The spiritual essence and untamed beauty of horses are palpable in their presence, and it’s been the experience of my life to photograph their intimate world.” 

Explore more: www.juliearts.com | @juliebettstestwuide

Cole Simon

Fox Lane High School Junior & Entrepreneur 

From an early age, Cole Simon felt connected to animals. “I’ve fostered frogs, turtles, ducks, a bearded dragon.…my parents turned down my request for an animal sanctuary,” he said with a grin. “We have a house cat, two dogs, a chinchilla, a fish, and my bees.” Cole manages four hives at his family’s Bedford home, which he shares with his parents and five younger siblings. His interest in beekeeping began in 2020, when he learned the art of hives and harvesting. 

Cole operates 11 residential hives throughout Bedford, all of which he installed, stocked, and harvests. He also spearheaded a beekeeping club at his school alongside its Science & Technology Department Coordinator, Mr. Paul Firsch. “I donated two hives to start and the school provides beekeeping suits for the students,” said Cole. His goal is to bring beekeeping to schools throughout the district, and West Patent Elementary has brought in two hives under Cole’s guidance. Now that’s something to buzz about!

Rob Thomas

GRAMMY Award-Winning Artist & Co-Founder of Sidewalk Angels Foundation

An outspoken animal advocate and pet parent alongside his equally passionate wife, Marisol, together they established Sidewalk Angels Foundation in 2003. Animal shelters across the country are in crisis, and the foundation provides critically needed finances and vital resources to help no-kill shelters and animal rescues overcome insurmountable obstacles, including the rescue of unwanted and abused animals. Its funding and resources have provided assistance in massive rescue operations, from stray dogs suffering in poverty stricken countries to the transport of death row animals to rescues and forever homes. 

Since its inception, Sidewalk Angels Foundation has provided over 1 million dollars toward animal adoptions and rescues, proper medical care, low cost spay and neuter programs, safe shelter facilities, and even programs that teach children kindness and compassion toward animals to break and prevent abusive cycles and fight against breed discrimination. The foundation also works with homeless shelters to ensure that families in dire need are not forced to give up their pets. 


Rob and Marisol are dedicated to the growth of the foundation and are often hands-on at many of the shelters it supports. “Our hope is to help twice as many organizations in the coming years, while continuing to make real change on behalf of those who are unable to speak for themselves.” Discover how you can make a difference alongside Sidewalk Angels Foundation at www.sidewalkangelsfoundation.org | @sidewalkangels

With a legendary music career spanning almost three decades 

and 80 million record sales worldwide, celebrated singer-songwriter 

Rob Thomas uses his voice for more than radio hits. 

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