Fur Ball to benefit Humane Society

By Jesse Campbell (jesse.campbell@mountaintimes.com)

Article Published: Sep. 5, 2013 | Modified: Sep. 15, 2013
Fur Ball to benefit Humane Society

The Harris Brothers, featuring Reggie and Ryan Harris, will perform at the Watauga Humane Society’s 16th annual Fur Ball.

Photo by Frank Ruggiero

Watauga Humane Society chairwoman Vickie Young said it only takes one glimpse at the pictures of animals in need of a good home to understand the importance of the organization in the community.

The costs associated with nurturing these destitute critters, as well as educating the general public on the need to spray and neuter their pets, keeps the organization on a tight budget.

To help supplement the organization’s budget and the money it receives annually from the county government, the Humane Society hosts a series of annual fundraisers to foot operating costs, Young said.

The organization’s largest fundraiser, the 16th annual Fur Ball, takes place from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Blowing Rock Country Club.

The reception and cash bar begins at 5:30 p.m. Silent auction is from the beginning of the ball until 9 p.m. A dinner and live auction with an after-dinner show, featuring The Harris Brothers and Kay and Patrick Crouch, will follow.

“We are hoping to raise $60,000 this year,” Young said. “In the past, we’ve raised as much as $100,000, but it has been a struggle the past couple of years.”

Fundraising chairwoman Jan Watson spoke on the significance of the fundraisers to the Humane Society.

“Our existence depends on these fundraisers,” Watson said in a previous interview. “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.

“It’s so important,” Young said about the fundraisers. “It’s a struggle every month for us to reach our budget. So many people want to help; they just need encouragement and to see the need.”

Pet adoption is only part of the Humane Society’s mission.

“We not only try to rescue the animals here, but also educate people on the importance of spaying and neutering their pets,” Young said. “Our goal is to work ourselves out of a job.”

Tickets for the ball are $100. Call or email Jan Watson at (janwatson@charter.net) or call (828) 264-7865 for more information. All proceeds go to the Watauga Humane Society.

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