Thursday, April 2, 2009

FurBall raises $155,000 to help build a new shelter for the Ottawa Humane Society

Brightening Lives Dogs and Volunteers

OTTAWA, Ont. (30 March, 2009) – Over 370 guests dined, danced and helped raise $155,000 for the animals at the Ottawa Humane Society’s fifth annual FurBall, held Saturday night at the National Gallery. The gala evening served as the public launch of the Breaking Ground Building Campaign, a fundraising project to build a new shelter for the animals of Ottawa.

“We’re thrilled with such an impressive start to our building campaign and grateful for the support of our FurBall guests,” said Bruce Roney, executive director of the Ottawa Humane Society (OHS), who spoke about the difficulties of caring for 11,000 animals each year in a cramped and outdated facility. “The animals need and deserve a new home that will allow us to keep them healthier, and after tonight, we’re confident the community will help us reach that goal.”

FurBall volunteers dressed in traditional Moroccan garb and servers wearing fezzes helped create the atmosphere of 1940’s Casablanca — the theme for the evening — while uniformed and moustachioed gendarmes rounded up the “usual suspects” for dinner in the Gallery’s great hall. A menu from Executive Chef Kurt Waldele featured food inspired by the movie, while the film itself played in the hall decorated with candles and palm trees.

A combination of live and silent auctions prompted guests to open their wallets for the animals, with paintings from Ottawa artist Philip Craig and group dinners at the German and British embassies fetching top dollars. New to this year’s FurBall was the IAMS celebrity pet bowl auction, featuring customized bowls decorated by Elizabeth Manley, Margaret Trudeau, designers Jefferson Sukhoo and others. Mrs. Laureen Harper, who served as honourary chair of the event, saw her painted bowl sell for $450. A bowl signed by the Ottawa Senators hockey team brought in $800 during the spirited live auction, which was presented by Jim Watson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing.

The goal of the OHS Breaking Ground campaign is to raise $9.5 million to build a new, state-of-the-art shelter in the city’s south end. For more information on the building campaign, visit

Media contact:
Tara Jackson, Communications Manager
613-725-3166 ext. 261
613-277-3125 cell

Ashley with Montana

A few of the Brightening Lives dogs, such as Montana (pictured left, with FurBall volunteer Ashley) made a guest appearance at the March 28th event.

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