Indulge at the 5th annual Art for Animals fundraiser

 

Jackie Carey is always on the lookout for new ideas to improve and raise money for the Georgetown Animal Shelter, and in 2007 she stumbled upon brilliance.

“I had read in a magazine about an animal shelter in Northern California that did animal art, and then they combined it with a cheese and wine festival,” says Jackie, manager of the Georgetown Animal Shelter.

Jackie loved the idea. Not only would the proceeds from the art auction benefit the animals, but the animals themselves could take part in creating tail art—canvas paintings created by the swishes of dogs’ and cats’ paint-covered tails—and paw art masterpieces.

The event sounded promising, but there was one hitch: Because the Georgetown Animal Shelter is run by the city, the staff is not allowed to host an event that offers wine. After a bit of brainstorming, Jackie remembers, “one of the volunteers said, ‘Well, what’s the next best thing?’ So we decided on Art for Animals: A Chocolate Affair.”

After the theme was settled, Jackie and a few volunteers solicited original artwork from local artists and sumptuous chocolate desserts from Georgetown restaurateurs.

That first year, recalls Jackie, “it was going to be on a Sunday afternoon in October, and we were up against football. . . . I was a nervous wreck about whether or not anyone would show up.”

She needn’t have worried. The event “started at 2 p.m., and by about 2:15 p.m., the room was full of people,” says Jackie, smiling. “And it’s just kind of grown since then. The whole event has taken on a life of its own.”

Today, Friends of the Georgetown Animal Shelter, a nonprofit organization that supports but is separate from the shelter itself, has taken over the task of hosting Art for Animals. This change puts JoAnna Green, a longtime volunteer with the shelter and chairwoman of Art for Animals, in charge of this year’s Valentine’s-themed event. The change is one that works well for everyone—Jackie now spends less time worrying about fundraising, and because the event is no longer run by the city, wine tastings can be offered.

“We’re very thankful for all of the community and business involvement,” says JoAnna. This year’s event includes wine tastings provided by Georgetown Winery, appetizers and chocolate desserts donated by various local restaurants, and live music by Southwestern University’s musicians. “We’ll also have T-shirts this year, designed by local artist Nick Ramos,” JoAnna says, as well as a $250 raffled gift card. A live auction will offer thirty-five unique pieces of local art, including pottery donated from Sun City’s Pottery Club and custom-made frames by the Woodworkers Club in Sun City for the animal art pieces.

Art for Animals—Wine, Chocolate, and Amore will take place Saturday, February 9, from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Community Center in San Gabriel Park. Tickets can be purchased in advance from the Georgetown Visitor’s Center, Framer’s Gallery, and online, or participants can buy regular-priced tickets at the door. All proceeds will go toward funding much-needed expansions to the shelter and to adding a dog wash station because, as the Friends of Georgetown Shelter website puts it, “happy clean dogs are easier to find homes for than stinky dirty mutts!” And finding homes for the animals and the families who will come to love them is the sweetest treat of all.

By Rachel Brownlow

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