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'Affur to Remember' gala raises $26K for local SPCA
by Jessica Garcia
May 18, 2010 | 1275 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Courtesy photo/SPCA - The local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raised $26,000 from its annual "An Affur to Remember" fundraiser Friday with elegant offerings of jewelry, home decor and pet items donated by local businesses.
Courtesy photo/SPCA - The local chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals raised $26,000 from its annual "An Affur to Remember" fundraiser Friday with elegant offerings of jewelry, home decor and pet items donated by local businesses.
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Courtesy photo/SPCA - Guests perused various items up for bid at a silent auction to help raise money for the operations on Friday for Reno's Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at its annual "An Affur to Remember" fundraiser.
Courtesy photo/SPCA - Guests perused various items up for bid at a silent auction to help raise money for the operations on Friday for Reno's Society of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals at its annual "An Affur to Remember" fundraiser.
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RENO – On Friday, the Circus Circus Hotel Casino’s Mandalay Ballroom was lined with tables of donated items waiting to be claimed by generous buyers. Handcrafted jewelry sets, paintings, dog blankets and carriers sat with sheets for people to sign their names and minimum prices that officials hoped would be exceeded.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) held its annual An Affur to Remember fundraiser, an event that’s been held for about 25 years. A silent auction consisting of home décor, furniture, pet necessities and other items garnered about $26,000 all told, according to SPCA executive director Tom Jacobs.

“It went very well,” he said, adding that the shelter’s employees were still counting the contributions Monday. “It’s a little below last year, but still pretty good. We’re still very happy and it was a good turnout.”

The fundraiser also celebrated SPCA’s 11th year as a no-kill organization in northern Nevada.

Evan and Liza Firstman of Warm Springs, Nev., who run their own business, Sierra Document Management, made their rounds and perused various items. They found out about the event through a friend who serves on the SPCA Board of Directors.

“We’re here to support a good cause,” Evan said. “SPCA is a cause my family has always supported. We’re both pet lovers.”

The Firstmans recently lost their 15-year-old Border collie, Luke, whom they had since he was a 7-week-old puppy. They teased him with fondness.

“He had my legs,” Evan said, while Liza was convinced, “He had my nose.”

They’re considering adopting but said they were still coping with the loss of Luke.

“We’re enjoying being empty nesters,” Evan said. “There’s a measure of responsibility. You have to be there and we travel quite a bit. We miss our boy. … We’re just here to show our support. We know the money’s going to a good cause.”

An Affur to Remember is one of several held throughout the year to help SPCA maintain its operations. SPCA microchips, spays or neuters and vaccinates every animal that comes into its care.

Jacobs said he was grateful for all the local businesses that provided the various items and services to be auctioned, including a 55-inch Visio flat-screen television, lunch with Reno Mayor Bob Cashell and Sparks Mayor Geno Martini, a trip to Disneyland, a guitar from Metallica lead singer James Hetfield and the big seller, a mahogany table that was auctioned off for $1,300.

But the stars of the event were several animals brought in to demonstrate the need to find homes for cats and dogs.

“We had at least two adoptions (at the event) and a lot of people were interested,” he said. “We do it all year-round.”

The sum of $26,000 will support SPCA’s shelter costs for food, vaccinations and other needs and will last about a month, Jacobs said.

“Each animal costs about $365,” he said. “We have about 25 dogs and 30 cats and we’re hoping to expand our facility.”

Bernice Banks, a new volunteer for the SPCA, walks the dogs as a way to keep her mind off more serious matters in her life.

“I lost my job and I needed something to do,” she said. “It’s very soothing. I’m an empty nester and my life is dogs. They’re great dogs. I haven’t met one yet I didn’t like. It’s a great program. I used to take my son here and show him the animals and I would say, ‘See what happens when you don’t take care of these animals?’ ”

The SPCA will hold a pet aid event in August at Reno’s Wingfield Park and a dog walk in September.

For more information, visit http://spcanevada.org.
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