Continuing to support the Etowah Valley Humane Society, Soleil Tan GA will present the third annual Santa Paws for a Cause event. Set for Saturday, photographs with Santa Chris and Mrs. Claus will be taken from 10 a.m. to noon at the Cartersville business, 650 Henderson Drive, Suite 107.
“I have a heart for animals, obviously. I have four chihuahuas of my own,” said Melissa Latimer, owner of Soleil Tan GA. “[This event] came about [because] I just wanted to give back. ... Our Etowah Valley Humane Society, [it operates] primarily on donations. I met [EVHS Director] Bryan Canty through another avenue. He was like, we get so many fundraisers a year from the community and some pan out, some don’t. I thought, ‘What a wonderful way of bringing families together with their pets as well as their children and significant others to one location and have memories, because ... our pets only live so long.’
“So that’s how it all came about. I kind of put it together three years ago and talked to Bryan about it. And he was tickled to death. So our first one, we had all kinds of pets. We even had a little piggy that came.”
On Saturday, two packages will be available for Santa Paws for a Cause, including Santa’s Simple Paw Package for $55 — one 5x7, two 4x6s, four wallets and one ornament — and Santa’s Big Paw Package for $110 — two 5x7s, four 4x6s, eight wallets and two ornaments.
In addition to funds raised through photography sessions, Santa Paws for a Cause also will support the EVHS by encouraging people to contribute financially at https://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/melissa-latimer/SantaPawsforACause or donate dry dog and cat food, cat litter, leashes, harnesses, toys, blankets and towels.
Opened in 2006, EVHS’ 4,928-square-foot shelter at 36 Ladds Mountain Road in Cartersville costs about $240,000 per year to manage. The facility consists of two staff offices, a quarantine room, two visitation rooms, 14 temperature-controlled kennel runs, a cat room with 24 cages, a puppy room with 22 cages, seven outdoor kennel runs and an on-site dog park.
“It’s always reassuring to know that the business community supports the efforts of the Etowah Valley Humane Society,” Canty said. “It kind of removes the stigma of us always having our hands extended as we approach other folks. ... [Melissa is] respected in the community, and it’s nice to know that she believes in our cause and our mission.
“Approximately one-third of our revenue is generated through the margins off of adoption fees. The rest comes from the benevolence of private donors and occasional fundraisers. ... So every bit helps, and we’re most appreciative for the support of this community.”
To schedule a photography appointment, call 770-387-1064.