Wings Restaurant in South Quesnel is hosting a fundraising gala for the Pet Safe Coalition on Saturday, Jan. 26.
The Pet Safe Coalition’s mandate is to assist animals during personal or large-scale emergencies and disasters, says Debbie Knabke of Pet Safe and one of the event co-ordinators.
Throughout the 2017 wildfires, the coalition rescued, sheltered and, eventually, reunited more than 1,000 animals with their owners, evacuees from the fires. The animals were sheltered at Alex Fraser Park, and the entire effort was run by volunteers and donations.
When Nazko flooded last spring, the group once more jumped to action. And when the fires struck a bit closer to home last summer, the coalition worked to help locals execute their own animal evacuation plans.
But the group, which was first started in 2010, is not limited to large-scale disasters. They help take care of animals when they are displaced by personal emergencies as well: for example, a house fire or when someone has to spend time in the hospital and has no one to care for their animals.
The fundraising gala at Wings is intended to help replenish the group’s disaster relief fund for the year, something they need in the event of floods, fires and other emergencies.
“We try to hold one big fundraiser a year,” says Knabke. “We’ve been pretty busy the last couple years, and we need to recoup some funds to put into our disaster relief fund.”
Wings approached the coalition about hosting a dinner, and the group agreed.
There were 60 tickets available for the event, although, as of press time, only eight are left. Knabke says at last count, Wings still had two tickets left, and the Bouchie Lake Country Store had six.
One ticket gets the attendee a full-course meal and access to a silent auction.
Knabke says many local businesses and citizens have made donations for the auction, without being asked.
“My back bedroom looks like a maze with all the donations; it’s just amazing,” she says.
She says she was originally concerned turnout for the event might be low, due to its proximity to Christmas, “but we got a very good response from the public, and it looks like it’s going to be quite successful.”
Knabke expressed her gratitude to Wings for hosting the event, as well as to all the volunteers and businesses who have lent their support.
If anyone is unable to attend the gala, but would like to make a donation to the Pet Safe Coalition, they can reach out to the coalition at 250-255-7629 or via their facebook page at facebook.com/PetSafeCoalitionSocietyOfCanada/.
Donations can also be dropped off at Wings before the gala takes place on Saturday evening.