The Hair of the Dog fundraiser in support of the Cochrane & Area Humane Society, will be back this Saturday, June 11th at The Venue Bar and Grill.
The event has been held annually since 2015, and a has raised nearly $200,000 in that time. The fundraiser also is returning to it's traditional live format after having to go virtual for the past few years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Returning to the live format means that attendees can expect a live and silent auction, raffle tickets for prizes, and a 50/50 draw, with all proceeds going to the Cochrane & Area Humane Society.
Fundraiser co-founder and organizer Kendra Watt says that the live format is a big part of the fundraisers success, "Hopefully going forward it can also be a live event because it's so much fun. The idea of having a live auction and people bidding in real time against each other in-person kind of builds that excitement and that momentum, and that's what creates, ultimately, the huge funds that are raised."
Watt says their goal is to hopefully reach their previous highs in fundraising, "The record was year-four where we raised $49,000 in one night and then last year we raised $42,000. So it would be really nice if we could get near the $40,000 mark".
Watt says that her and friend Keri Jensen came up with the idea out of love for her own dog. "Every once in a while, a dog comes along into someone's life, but it's just a little bit extra special for some reason. So my dog was Osa and when she passed away I just wanted to do something in her memory. Originally I thought maybe we'll, put up a park bench or plant a tree or something like that, and then we decided, let's throw a party and see if we can raise some funds for the shelter and it was a huge success. So, we ultimately decided that we would do it annually and in the first seven years we've raised almost $200,000".
Fast forward a few years, and another person joined their team. "A few years ago Erol Yersel from Erol Automotive suggested that he would be willing to give us a hand in organizing it, because It's a huge event and it's a lot of work to organize. So when he offered his help, we jumped on it and part of his role apart from actually organizing each year is that he is our our auctioneer and he makes it a lot of fun" says Watt.
Watt says that he favourite part of the fundraiser is when "I get to take the microphone and I get to thank everybody for helping us over the years and for continuing to support it, because at least half of the people that attend have been every year. They just keep coming back and we're just so appreciative that we can do this for the shelter, so the opportunity that I get to explain to everybody why we're here and how amazing the shelter is and how proud we are to support them."
Tickets to attend cost $40 with proceeds going to the Cochrane & Area Humane Society. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.
For more information go to cochranehumane.ca