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March 02, 2013 - "Meow"garitaville gala helps rescue cats & dogs in need

What: 6th Annual Whiskers 'n Wags Jubilee to benefit the Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic

Where: Hilton Hotel - Fort Collins

When: Saturday, March 2, 2013

Time: 5:30 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $55 individual // $500 table of 10

Beneficiary: Fort Collins Cat Rescue

EMCEE: Christie Long

Founders: Sarah Swanty and Anna Neubauer

Executive Director: Sarah Swanty

Catering: Hilton Hotel Fort Collins

Music: The Backline

Sponsors: Petco Foundation, Poudre Pet & Feed Supply, Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc., Dye & Whitcomb, LLC, Friendship Hospital for Animals, Precious Cat Litters, South Mesa Veterinary Hospital, VCA Fort Collins Animal Hospital, Paws 'N Claws Veterinary Clinic, Austin Korshak Hach Memorial Fund, Community Foundation of Northern Colorado, Home State Bank, contact organization for full list of sponsors

Auctioneer: Seaworth & Associates Auctioneers

Quote of the evening: "Every life matters"

Menu: Calypso spinach salad, ancho chicken with tequila lime marinade, margarita infused tortellini, Key Largo vegetable medley, papaya and almond-infused rice pilaf, parrot head coconut cream pie

Attendance: 300+

Attire: Hawaiian

Special Thanks: Lisa Plahuta, Ruth Swanty


Donors: 4th St. Chophouse, Ace Gillett's Lounge, Allura Skin, Laser & Wellness Clinic, Angela Juhl Photography, Art & Science Physical Therapy and Pilates, The Artisan Shop, contact organization for full list of donors

Event Coordinator: Ashley Boothe

Board of Directors: Interim President Andrea Stout, Interim Vice President Jean Opsomer, Secretary Christie Long, Treasurer Susan Gilbert, Voting Member Kurt Colicchio, Voting Member Amy Rohloff

Steering Committee: Britt Boehner, Ashley Boothe, Hilary Foshee, Andrea Kerr, Carol Mahoney, Len Mahoney, Leslie Quitmeyer, Amy Rohloff, Lynn Seuss, Sarah Swanty and Keri Williams

Blacktie Photos by: Kimberly Johnson

 Alex Swanty holds an adoptable tabby kitten
Alex Swanty holds an adoptable tabby kitten

The Fort Collins Cat Rescue has been operating just shy of seven years and yet they have already reached outstanding heights. Co-Founders Sarah Swanty and Anna Neubauer started the Fort Collins Cat Rescue with 17 cats that could have wound up euthanized but for their dream of starting a no-kill cat shelter.

Several years ago, at a similar fundraiser, Swanty and Neubauer announced that they had saved almost 100 cats. “Which is still amazing,” said Swanty, “100 lives is 100 lives saved and we were psyched!” Since then, the organization has rescued 50 times that number and it keeps growing, thanks to the support of donors, caring individuals and the community. Due to collective efforts, the Fort Collins Cat Rescue has saved nearly 5,000 cats from sickness, neglect and death. “We have played a huge part in reducing our local humane societies’ euthanasia rates in dogs and cats,” said Carol MahoneyFCCR Grant Coordinator. The organization has also spayed or neutered over 23,000 dogs and cats – giving back to the community by preventing unwanted litters and reducing feral problems.

Recently, in Nunn, Colo., a woman was feeding a neighbor’s abandoned and unaltered cats. The cats reproduced in a very short period of time, the authorities were coming down on them and it was becoming very expensive to feed them. A call was placed to the Fort Collins Cat Rescue. Swanty told the woman, “This is really in line with our mission and we really want to help you.” In coming to the residence, however, she was shocked at the conditions. “I’ve been doing this for six and a half years and I have never seen anything like this before.” Cats were appearing from everywhere. Many were sick, hungry and neglected. However, over the next few days, they were able to get all 23 of the cats to safety.

On Saturday, March 2, 2013, the organization held its biggest event of the year, the 6th Annual Whiskers 'n Wags Jubilee – an evening of music and "meowgaritas." Guests dressed in their finest tropical attire and strolled the artwork and auction items – including the Grand Cats statues, an event tradition. These unique feline-inspired pieces are a special nod to the organization’s mission.

Proceeds from this year’s event go to various programs including free dog and cat food for low-income individuals, low-cost spays and neuters and operating costs at the no-kill cat shelter. Grant Coordinator Carol Mahoney said the organization expected to raise over $64,000 at this year’s event and that through the many grants they have received, they are now operating a million dollar budget, “an incredible achievement,” she said.

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