The Union Recorder

February 25, 2013

ARF auction to aid abandoned animals

Vaishali Patel
The Union-Recorder

MILLEDGEVILLE — The Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) is encouraging the community to provide support to the organization’s mission in providing quality care and permanent homes for abandoned animals in the area during its upcoming 15th annual auction.

The charity event, titled “It’s Reigning Cats and Dogs,” is slated at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the Milledgeville Country Club featuring silent and live auctions, door prizes, heavy hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar.

More than 200 silent auction items up for bid include gift certificates to area restaurants, salon services, oil changes, personal trainer sessions, pet sitting services, jewelry, kitchen items, cheesecakes, plants, free cat and dog vaccinations and various items from Hawaii, including unique artwork. The live auction will feature 23 items, including a propane gas grill, gas fire pit with lava rocks, low country boil, a three-day trip to St. Simons Island, free one-year pest control, diamond necklace and earrings, hardwood flooring, carpet cleaning services, 18 tons of sand, gravel or stone, LED traffic light, recliner, permanent makeup and a basket filled with animal care products.

“We literally have something for everyone — children, women, men, the yard and pets. If you cannot find something at this auction, you’re not looking hard enough,” said Bobbie Thompson, past president and treasurer of ARF. “We’ve got things that are very inexpensive up to high-priced items in the live auction.”

Door prizes will be awarded throughout the night, as well as a raffle drawing for a chance to win an iPad 2. Raffle tickets are $5 each, or $20 for five, and participants do not have to be present to win.

Tickets to the auction are $40 per person and can be purchased at the door, or in advance from ARF, Animal Hospital of Milledgeville, Lakeside Veterinary Clinic and the Milledgeville Country Club.

“We do prefer people to purchase tickets in advance so we can make sure we have the right amount of food,” Thompson said.

This year’s event sponsors are The Union-Recorder, Helen Green, Dr. William B. Lee, Linda and Gary Ashley, Lakeside Veterinary Clinic, Mary & Harvey Schoonmaker, Animal Hospital of Milledgeville, Williams Funeral Home and Crematory, W.A. Bragg and Company, Deb Campbell, Craftworks, Register & Son Cabinets, Janet Ficken and Esther Ficken, Steve and Denise Ellis, Patti & Pete Nawrocki, Harris & Co., Lee & Bo Edwards, Sheppard Appraisals, Jeanie’s Flowers & Gifts and Oconee Outfitters.

“We have just over $6,000 in sponsors this year. We are so thankful to our donors and sponsors; without them we wouldn’t be as successful as we are,” Thompson said. “We had a full house last year and it was the best auction we’ve ever had financially. After the cost of expenses, we made a grand total of $17,000. We always want to do better than the year before, but if we can make anywhere from $20,000 to $25,000 this year before we pay our bills, that would be wonderful.”

Funds raised will directly aid ARF in operation expenses, including the cost of vet bills, food, training, maintaining the facility and staff.

“We pay our staff who are animal care technicians and they help us so we can take care of the animals the best way we can. We have high standards of care at the Animal Rescue Foundation where animals are spayed and neutered before being adopted and vaccinated for heartworms,” Thompson said. “I wish we would be able to take in an animal and have them ready to be adopted within a week, but that’s in a perfect world which we don’t live in. Because it’s not a fast turnaround with adoptions on top of having regular expenses, this helps us get quality vet care for animals when they come in, feeding them great food, and maintaining the facility where they live because that’s their home.”

For more information about this year’s event, to donate supplies or funds, or purchase tickets, call 478-454-1273, email info@animalrescuefoundation.org, or visit www.animalrescuefoundation.org.

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