By Merry Dudley
The Humane Society of Portage County (HSPC) holds several fundraisers throughout the year. But its annual Fur Ball has been a highlight since the early 1980s. This year’s Fur Ball is scheduled for Friday, October 17, from 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Convention Center in Stevens Point.
The Fur Ball is not a fancy event – no ball gowns or tuxedos required – but attendees always leave the event wreathed in smiles, knowing they’ve contributed to a wonderful cause.
Described as “a night of casual fun for the entire family,” the Fur Ball offers a little something for everyone.
“Children’s games are provided by Team Schierl and one of our volunteers, Lisa Pagliaro. And every child wins each and every time!” said Ron Blaha, the executive director at the HSPC. “Adults enjoy choosing items from the largest basket raffle in Portage County.”
“Lisa puts together close to 50 baskets from donated items that she collects throughout the year, as well as items donated by companies and individuals specifically for our Fur Ball,” Blaha explained. “Silent auction items are provided by companies and individuals specifically for our Fur Ball.”
Aside from the games, the basket raffle and the silent auction, there is also music provided by NRG Media. Food is available onsite for purchase, and there is a cash bar.
While the event is held to raise money for the HSPC, it’s not the type of event in which you can bring your pet.
“We will have some adoptable dogs at the event,” Blaha said. “However, we cannot have or encourage people to bring their own pets because we would not be able to control any spontaneous dog aggression amongst the dogs.”
At press time, the complete list of prizes had not yet been finalized. But top prizes include two exclusive club level Green Bay Packers tickets and a year’s membership to the YMCA. In past years, HSPC has raffled off spa packages and gift certificates for jewelry.
A New Addition
While the HSPC has had three very qualified part-time veterinarians helping with its various surgery and medical needs, Blaha announced that they have recently hired a full-time veterinarian, Dr. Kim Peacock, DVM.
“Having one full-time veterinarian provides us with the means to expand our services,” Blaha said. “In Dr. Kim’s short time here, she has already spearheaded changes. The most notable is allocating space for an intake room. This ensures that incoming strays, abandoned or surrendered animals are receiving the proper medical attention before joining our other resident animals. Also, in the near future, we are looking forward to expanding our medical services.”
The HSPC’s website (www.hspcwi.org) offers great information about adoptable pets, ways to donate and upcoming events, while their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/HSPCWI) has become a great resource to help find missing pets.
“Our website and Facebook page have taken on a new life with the help of numerous people. These sites provide our followers the opportunity to receive up-to-date information about our activities and events. We have had many favorable comments, but we are always open to suggestions if there are ways and means to improve.”
The HSPC also creates a newsletter that lists long-term residents (those animals who have been at the HSPC for more than a year). There was such great response to the idea that four of their long-term dogs were soon adopted, so look for that feature to continue.
“We keep all of our healthy animals until we find a loving, forever home. Finding a home for this group of animals has been especially rewarding,” Blaha added.
“Presently we are working on plans for an animal play yard that will be used to expand the socialization experience for our dogs,” Blaha said. They also have plans to improve the outdoor and indoor kennels at the HSPC.”