Barry Zarudenec makes a living with his hands but helps others who can’t speak for themselves with his heart.
The Penticton carpenter and his best friend Lucas, a black lab, recently presented a cheque for over $21,000 to branch manager Carolyn Hawkins of the South Okanagan Similkameen SPCA.
The money was raised earlier this month at a special event at the Cooper Mug Pub that included live and silent auctions as well as entertainment.
Zarudenec, not surprisingly a self-admitted “animal lover,” first started raising money for the SPCA five years ago, the initial goal being $1,500 and has continued to surpass expectations every year since.
“The South Okanagan Similkameen BC SPCA is amazed at what Barry has done for the animals on his own time, Barry raised an amazing $21,036.30 for the abused, abandoned and unwanted animals in our community,” said Hawkins. “This was Barry’s fourth annual event and he told me he is doing it because of his love for the animals.
“In 2017, Barry was recognized as one of the top five, third-party fundraisers in the province of BC and he said he wanted to make it even bigger this year. We are so grateful for the support in our community who came out to the Copper Mug and to the businesses who donated towards our cause. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. This will go a long ways for the animals in our shelter and in our community.”
Zarudenec estimated he does about 80 per cent of the work of putting on the events with help from the staff of the Copper Mug and is looking forward to doing more for the SPCA in the future.
The SPCA will be hosting another fundraiser Nov. 16 with its annual Photos with Santa event.
For a $20 donation you will receive two 5 X 7 inch copies of a professional portrait of your pet with Santa. Additional prints or digital downloads are $5. As well there will also be freshly baked goods courtesy of the SPCA volunteers and coffee and hot chocolate.
The photo shoot is at the Penticton branch location at 2200 Dartmouth Dr. from noon until 3 p.m.