Article Published: Aug. 1 | Modified: Aug. 4
To the volunteers and staff at the Watauga Humane Society, fundraisers are everything.
“Our existence depends on these fundraisers,” fundraising chairwoman Jan Watson said. “Two years ago, we contracted with Watauga County to take all of the animals that normally would go to animal control. As a result, in 2012 we took in over 2,400 animals, while in 2011 we took in 910. That is more than double.”
On an annual basis, the WHS is appropriated approximately $78,000 for operating costs. The shelter’s annual budget is more than $650,000, Watson said.
Coupled with the fact the Watauga Humane Society is still paying off the debt for its new $1.1 million building, annual fundraisers are considered the lifeblood of the entire organization.
The shelter’s latest fundraiser, the inaugural 4 Paws Country Fair and Music Jamboree on Saturday, Aug. 3, will help pay off some of those recurring costs.
Advanced tickets are on sale for $5 and can be purchased at Mast General Store locations, Precision Printing, Bare Essentials and at the WHS. Tickets on the day of the event can purchased at the WHS, the site of the fundraiser, for $10.
The event begins at 9 a.m. with fresh coffee and ham biscuits being served.
The jamboree portion of the event begins at 10 a.m., with the musical stylings of 13-year-old Brooke Hummel. Other performances include artists Gloria Coffey, the Old Hat Band, High Country Cloggers, The Harris Brothers, Kay and Patrick Crouch and The Neighbors.
Lunch will be served at 11 a.m., with barbecue from Bandana’s Bar-B-Que & Grill in Boone. Hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers, chips and a drink will also be available.
In addition to the Southern-style food, artisan crafts and tents will be set up in the shelter’s main parking lot.
“We will have 19 or 20 artists,” she said. “That includes pottery, wood working, photography, weavers, basket making, candle making and soaps.”
A “Ye Olde Country Store and Shoppe” will be available inside the shelter for the sale of jams, jellies and other items typically found in a traditional country store.
“They will sell homemade cakes, brownies, cinnamon rolls and all kinds of baked goods,” Watson said.
Massage tables, face painting and balloon artistry will also be available to age appropriate attendees.
In keeping with the spirit of the event, dog safety and handling demonstrations will be held during the event. The addition of the jamboree complements other fundraising activities for the shelter, Watson said.
“We needed another big fundraiser, and it’s just something I always thought would be good to have,” she said, adding that the Watauga Humane Society also hosts dog jogs, a rummage sale, dinner dances, silent auctions and live raffles to generate operating funds.