When it comes to our feathered, furry or altogether hairless friends, a call to help rests in the opposable-thumbed hands of their more upright companions.
Such is the case with the Kootenai Humane Society’s “Tails at Twilight – An Evening with the Stars” fundraiser on July 24.
All proceeds will help the animals of the Humane Society, but the fundraiser will be a night to remember for all the humans involved.
Starting with a boat ride from the Boardwalk Marina dock, attendees will travel across the bay to be treated to an evening hosted by Duane and Lola Hagadone at their Casco Bay home.
The festivities will include a tour of the gardens, a live auction, an array of hors d’oeuvres, local celebrities and a “Diamond in the Ruff” raffle for a chance to win a custom-made piece of jewelry from Dan Clark of Clark’s Diamond Jewelers.
“There’s some clamor and excitement amongst the community,” said Phil Morgan, executive director of the Humane Society. “We expect to sell out in the next few weeks.”
More than half the 600 available tickets have been sold, with 200 being sold before an official announcement had even been made.
That’s thanks in large part to the Humane Society’s 2005 benefit, “Tails of Tuscany,” which was held at a lakeside cottage and grossed more than $127,000 for the society.
“Our challenge this year was to procure a prime location and put on a more premier event,” said Pat Lozano, the benefit coordinator and a Realtor with Coldwell Banker.
“We started high on the ladder in 2005,” she said, but this year’s fundraiser is on track to surpass the previous year’s festivities.
Explaining the importance of the Humane Society, Lozano said: “Until you see what happens out there, you can’t really appreciate what they do.”
In addition to supporting the nonprofit no-kill facility’s day-to-day operations and helping with the longer-term goal of building a new shelter, the benefit is designed “to build community support and involvement,” Morgan said.
“We want to be everything animal to everybody. That’s our long-term goal, but you can’t just start out there,” he said.
The Humane Society has an annual operating budget of $1 million, funded exclusively by donations and grants. Large events, of which there are four a year that generate $15,000 or more, make up the bulk of the contributions.
Thanks to Lozano and her networking abilities, the “Tails at Twilight” fundraiser “is definitely the biggie,” Morgan said.
Ultimately, though, it has to be the community that steps up in support of our four-legged companions, Morgan said.
“We cannot exist without the support of our community,” he said. “Thankfully, we live in a community that appreciates and supports our services.”