The fifth annual Hair of the Dog fundraiser was an incredible success once again.
Raising 31,850 dollars, Kendra Watt, Co-Organizer shares she is blown away by the support she receives each and every year. "It was a lot more than we were expecting. We were hoping to raise $20,000 but we totally blew that out of the water, we're very happy. The support is incredible and not just from the donors, but the people that come and bid on the items."
A number of items went for well over the actual value, shares Watt, which means it is less about what people get and more about the organization they are supporting.
Tracy Keith, Executive Director for the Cochrane and Area Humane Society, was not only thrilled with the amount of money raised but also grateful for the organizers and event itself. "I know from experience the type of work, dedication, and time that goes into putting an event like this. It's pretty amazing, and the three of them (Kendra Watt, Kari Broadhurst, and Erol Yersel) have just been really great supporters of the shelter overall and are pretty amazing people. In this economy, it's really hard to get sponsorship and to pull off events, nevermind sell them out, so they have done an amazing job."
Although the Cochrane and Area Humane Society receives support and monies from other streams, the one thing Keith appreciates is the flexibility to use the funds as the shelter feels fit. "One thing that is nice, is they don't put any limitations on how the money is used. Our largest costs are staffing and veterinary costs; we are fortunate to have our own hospital on site and it is through these types of donations that we are able to have the best x-ray equipment, ultrasound equipment, and the right staffing on board. Which means we are able to give the animals every opportunity for rehabilitation whether that is health and medical or behavioral. These kinds of contributions really help to make sure we are supported in all these areas, and so we do direct these funds towards those larger costs."
Large contributions like this also help take the financial pressure off the organization, which with a lagging economy is a huge help. "As I mentioned earlier, it is harder than ever to pull off events successfully these days because sponsorship dollars just aren't there from the oil and gas sector and even from small businesses. So for these guys to go ahead and put in all the work, while we get to enjoy the event and reap the benefits, it is a huge opportunity for the shelter and all the animals."
The sold-out event for the 203 ticketholders featured great food, service, and live music, and Watt shares they are looking forward to doing it all again next year. "We don't see any end to this. Some people have asked if we could go to a larger space so we could accommodate more guests but that is not something we are looking to do. The Venue has been so supportive of us and we really enjoy working with them, so we're happy to keep it a little bit smaller and we're happy to sell it out."
GIving thanks to her crew behind the scenes, Watt says she could not have done it on her own. "A huge thank you to all the people that help me coordinate this. There is a lot of people beside me and behind the scenes that make this work, this is not a one-man show by any stretch."
Currently, the Cochrane and Area Humane Society is a full house. Approaching puppy and kitten season, Keith says it is a great time to adopt if you are interested. "We have a lot of dogs with us right now, all ages and sizes if anybody is looking. It is a great time of the year to have a new puppy or new dog at home because you are out and about, you can really make them part of the family, and it gets you out exercising."
Feel free to drop by the Cochrane and Area Humane Society during business hours, which you can find HERE.