Banquet benefits cause for critters

Western News Staff

A one-of-a-kind event presented by Critteraid is inviting well-mannered dogs to bring their humans along with them.

On Friday at 6 p.m. the third I Heart Animals banquet will take place in the ballroom of the Penticton Lakeside Resort.

The event is a fundraiser, with the proceeds from the banquet benefitting several Critteraid projects. Critteraid is a non-profit organization established in 1992 to provide refuge for unwanted, abused and abandoned animals. Currently the sanctuary hosts 93 cats, 17 guinea pigs, a donkey, an alpaca and a horse named Faith who was found frozen to someone’s driveway.

Money raised at the event will benefit the Summerland cat sanctuary, dog house division, feral kitten rescue program, pasture animals and the education program/legacy fund. Funds will also be going towards the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team.

This year the I Heart Animals banquet features chances to bid on silent auction items, Joy Caravello of Petography doing pet portraits by donation from 4 to 7 p.m., a vegan dinner and dessert and a presentation by Cheryl Rodgers, national co-ordinator for the Canadian Disaster Animal Response Team. CDART works closely with Emergency Social Services, the RCMP, Ministry of Agriculture representatives and Provincial Emergency Program personnel to respond in times of disaster and emergencies when domestic animals are in need of rescue and sheltering.

The evening will be hosted by CJ, Sun FM host of the Afternoon Drive, and guests will be treated to the talents of Ryan Schick on the grand piano. Last year over 60 well-mannered dogs attended the event, and this year animal owners are invited to enter the best pet tricks contest. Entrants are asked to register early to ensure their participation or if they are planning on getting a pet portrait. Registration can be made by calling December Foster at 250-488-2223.

“Critteraid would like to sincerely thank everyone who came forward with so many amazing silent auction items for this year’s event.  We now have the best auction we’ve ever had with some incredible items like: a helicopter tour from Canadian Helicopters, authenticated Elvis memorabilia, Paul Rodgers memorabilia donated by Paul Rodgers himself, limited-edition prints and original artworks, hotel stays, golf, skiing and spa packages, all kinds of pet services and so much more,” said Foster.

Guests can register their pet in the talent contest by calling Louanne at 250-488-7443.

Tickets to the banquet are available until today and are $35 each. Tickets are available at Pet Pantry, Licks and Wags Doggie Bakery or by calling Deb Silk at 250-493-9752. Discounted hotel rates are available for out-of-town guests.