To be held at the Clarence Brown Conference Center -- 5450 Ga. Highway 20 in Cartersville -- at 5 p.m., Rescues and Runways will feature local residents modeling clothes from Maurices, followed by a live auction hosted by Joe Tilley. While there will be no admission cost, donations will benefit the EVHS and its Cartersville animal shelter. For their support, financial contributors will receive a 20 percent off Maurices' coupon.
"I just thought it would be a unique way to enhance our exposure in the community," EVHS Director Bryan Canty said, adding his nonprofit was contacted by Calhoun's Maurices store. "Who would have ever thought of tying in the ethical treatment of animals to a fashion show? But it makes perfectly good sense. It's a win-win situation for all. They get to show their fashion. We get to show our animals, and they are great animals.
"We'll have dogs and cats that are currently up for adoption. They won't be able to participate [in the show], that's according to the rules of the convention center, but we will have them on display in the adjacent courtyard. We'll have personnel there who can not only screen the applicants but also process the contract and receive payments. So it's entirely possible that someone could walk away from there with a new pet."
On Oct. 2, EVHS will hold its third annual Casino Night from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Stonewall Manor, 104 Stonewall St. in Cartersville. A $60 ticket will cover food, adult beverages, poker chips, and access to a silent and live auction.
"It appeals to all people really, all age groups young and old," EVHS Board Chair Elect Jim Hodge said, noting the event is for adults 21 and older. "It's something that they don't offer in Georgia. A lot of people like to go to casinos. Even though we can't give out cash, we will have prizes that they can exchange. It's just people's competitive nature. They love the competition."
Open since 2006, EVHS' 4,928-square-foot shelter at 36 Ladd's Mountain Road in Cartersville costs about $120,000 per year to manage. The shelter consists of two staff offices, a quarantine room, two visitation rooms, 14 temperature-controlled kennel runs, a cat room with 24 cages and two condos, and a puppy room with 10 cages.
Since the EVHS is funded solely by private donations, fundraisers and adoption fees, events like Rescues and Runways and Casino Night are integral to its operation.
"With the economy like it is adoptions are down and owner surrenders are up," Hodge said. "So that's putting a money crunch on us, the fact that adoptions are down and everybody is fighting for the same dollars as far as donations."
While the nonprofit's needs are ongoing to maintain its facility, Hodge said they are making positive strides.
"Things are actually going in a positive direction," he said. "Bryan Canty is doing a great job. We're getting ready to do adoptions at a second location, the Pet Supermarket here in town. We're trying to raise money for a second [transport] van so we can do adoptions at two different locations on the weekends.
"We do adoptions every Saturday and Sunday at PETCO [in Acworth] and that leaves us no way to transport animals to the vet on the weekend and we just picked up the Pet Supermarket that's next to ROSS and Ingles. We'll do adoptions over there on weekends as well. So we desperately need a second van."
Being able to conduct off-site adoptions, especially at a Cartersville venue, is key in the EVHS' goal to increase its number of adoptions, Canty said.
"Pet Supermarket -- we were there for their grand opening on Labor Day weekend and we hope to resume that this coming weekend. ... They've been most accommodating with everything [and] they're helping us get the word out and also to educate people and create awareness as far as the importance of spaying and neutering your animals and just the proliferation of unwanted animals in Bartow County, one of the highest in metro Atlanta," Canty said about Pet Supermarket -- 873 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cartersville -- where, depending on the weather and available volunteers, EVHS plans to hold off-site animal adoptions Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. "A lot of people are somewhat inhibited to come out to our facility.
"They just think that, I don't know, it kind of creates an atmosphere of despair but the thing is what they have to keep in mind is the animals that are with us at least have a fighting chance to find a good home. We're working feverishly to find them those homes and to match them up with caring people who want and desperately need an animal. But having that venue in Cartersville kind of solves the problem of people not wanting to come to the shelter and then people who don't want to drive to Acworth. Now they have that venue in their own community."
For more information about the EVHS and its fundraisers, visit www.etowahvalleyhumane.org or contact Canty at 770-383-3338.