April 24, 2014 - 11:13 AM
KAMLOOPS — Books, barbecues and balls will highlight May for the local B.C. SPCA branch as the shelter takes on Prince George in the annual City Challenge, the largest fundraiser of the year for the Kamloops branch.
The pressure is on for staff as well. Not only has Prince George beat Kamloops the past two years but the local shelter has faced several months of ringworm, resulting in more than $10,000 in medical costs as well as a drop in adoptions and retail sales, several major surgeries and an abundance of animals looking for new homes.
The goal this year is to raise more than $40,000, similar to totals last year that included a medical plea for Casey the dog with the basketball-sized tumour that had to be removed.
“This is our major fundraiser, along with Paws for a Cause,” Branch Manager Charleen Holloway says. “There’s more of a need this year because when we shut down it’s harder for people to give money to us, we get a lot of folks donating through walk-ins. So it dropped off quite considerably, and expenses were higher.”
Costs have continued to climb as the shelter faces vandalism as well. In recent weeks both shelter vans have been tagged with graffiti, in addition to the building, and with a $500 deductible each time the costs add up quickly.
The month-long fundraiser will kick off with the open house on May 3 at the shelter and will include a barbecue and 15 craft vendors.
This year there will again be a bottle drive at the shelter and both General Grants locations (though General Grants accepts bottles for the shelter year round), a dog wash (May 24 at River City Nissan), Spay-ghetti and No-Balls dinner (May 10 at the Plaza) and a used book sale at Northills Centre. The wrap up barbecue will be on May 31 at the Shall M&M Meats.
“There’s a lot of great activities,” Holloway says, “and we have a big new signature event, a Fur-Ball.”
The new event will be held on May 23 and is about ‘celebrating second chances’. Holloway explains the evening will be very interactive with dinner stations, dancing, live entertainment, silent auction, 50/50 and more at the Coast Hotel. Tickets for the event are available through kamloopslive.ca.
In addition Fireside restaurant and Cat and Joe's Pig Rig will make donations for certain food purchases every Wednesday during May and Denny’s will make a donation for every order of pancake puppies made during the month.
“We are extremely grateful (for all the help),” Holloway says. “There’s so many little things that add up.”
Holloway notes Kamloops is pitted against Prince George because the communities are similar in size and demographics.
“You want to pair up against a community that will be a challenge and not a blow out,” she says. “No one wants a blow out.”
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