The members of the board of the Rita B. Huff Adoption Center are proud to announce the return of their annual fundraiser at Walker Education Center for the first time in three years. The event theme will follow an Oktoberfest style with German food, beer, and wine provided by local vendors. Both live and silent auctions will take place during the event being held from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 9, at Walker Education Center in Huntsville.
“We are really looking forward to seeing the familiar faces that have always supported our organization,” said Jan Ables, President of the Board for the center. “The ladies on the committee do a fantastic job of networking, and I think it will be a super successful event.”
Donations for the live auction include: a vacation home getaway in Santa Fe, New Mexico; a weekend at Lake Jennifer near Trinity; an American Brilliant Cut Glass punchbowl; a collection of wildlife prints; Bearkat memorabilia; and an antique china cabinet. A group yoga and pilates experience at the lake, and a collection of hunting items will also be on auction.
“We wanted to offer something different this year than what we’ve offered in the past,” said Committee Member Roseanne Keithley. Food will be provided by Sam’s Table, Humphrey’s, Carbonero, Farmhouse, and Five Loaves Deli. Beverages are being sponsored by Stevenson Distributing.
More than 30 themed gift baskets will be part of the silent auction, along with special recipe desserts donated by various local supporters, a custom mosaic tile stepping stone, and an Artic “pawty” cooler filled with adult beverages and party supplies.
The main focus of fundraising for the group is to raise funds for their new facility on Veterans Memorial Parkway. The current location is 36 years old and the costs of maintenance and repairs have become a major drain on operating expenses. The new facility will include a state-of-the-art air purification system and is expected to house twice as many animals, which will help alleviate their waiting list. Their goal is to break ground by the new year.
The total number of animals received at the shelter over the last year is 396, of which 362 were successfully adopted. Over 60 percent of these animals came from outside the city limits and 35 percent came from within Huntsville. The Spay Neuter Assistance Program assisted with 286 of the 550 total surgeries performed at the center.
The only requirement to qualify for the assistance program is proof of local residency. The center is the designated rabies quarantine facility for Walker County and they also provide affordable vaccines for pets every Monday from 11 a.m. to noon.
“We at Rita B. Huff are most grateful for the wonderful community we serve. We receive no funding other than donations to keep our doors open, and the citizens of Walker County and the surrounding area are amazing in their support,” said Jane Ellisor, who currently serves as Treasurer for the shelter.
SHSU students pursuing a degree in Public Health and members of Tri Sigma are also involved in the event as a community engagement activity and hands-on educational project. Students participate in the planning, organization and evaluation of the event while also gaining experience in responsible pet ownership, the humane treatment and care of animals, and how fostering and adoption work in a no-kill shelter.
The Katy and E. Don Walker Education Center is located at 1402 19th Street in Huntsville. Event admission is $75 per person and tables are $600. Tickets can be purchased at First National Bank, or by calling Roseanne Keithley at 936-661-0028. For more information about Rita B. Huff Adoption Center, visit their website at https://rbhhumanesociety.org/.