Sarge’s helps furry friends with fun benefit
Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation threw its annual Furry Friends Benefit Bash Oct. 3, and more than 150 people attended the lively event. Attendees enjoyed a sit down dinner by Laurel Ridge Country Club, fun silent and live auctions and a popular bead game drawing.
More than 65 businesses, individuals and artisans pitched in to donate silent and live auction items, centerpieces and special table linens. The silent auction had something to please all animal lovers and their humans, including many restaurant gift certificates, works of art, pet items, an oversized plush bear, artisan foods, golf packages and a carved wooden bear that drew lots of attention.
The live auction, conducted by auctioneer Travis Royston, was the hit of the evening, and included vacation packages, special dinners, an art workshop and artistic queen-sized quilt. The most popular item was an authentic Ethiopian dinner for eight, which drew lots of action from the dinner guests.
Sarge’s board president Gary Smith told the crowd that 2012 was a record year for Sarge's.
“For 2012, Sarge's adopted out 627 homeless dogs and cats,” Smith said. “What's important about that number is that it represents a 31 percent increase from 2011. Sarge's also transported 292 — for a grand total of 929 animals saved in 2012.”
According to adoption coordinator and board member Michael Ritter, Sarge’s continues to set records for adoptions almost every month this year. To date, there have been 540 adoptions (212 cats, 328 dogs) this year — a 23 percent increase vs. last year.
“While the numbers are impressive, there is still a lot of work to be done in fundraising,” Smith said. “Sarge’s budget is over $200,000, with medical costs of more than $75,000. The benefit raised close to $18,000, but it takes a lot of money to save animals.”
Attendees and Sarge’ supporters were enthusiastic about the evening.
“Many said it was the best ever,” said bead game winner Paul Viau, of Waynesville. “The venue was great, the food was excellent — and the auctions were lots of fun.”
“Sarge’s is grateful to all the supporters and donors who made this the best bash Sarge’s has held,” said Smith. “We thank The Mountaineer for partnering with us to alert the community about the fundraiser and for continuing to help spread the news about Sarge’s work to help save Haywood County animals from euthanasia.”
For information about Sarge’s work to save homeless pets and to see the dogs and cats available for adoption, visit www.sargeandfriends.org, see Sarge’s on Facebook or call 246-9050.