Two big events are coming up for Geauga Humane Society’s Rescue Village animal shelter, which depends on fundraising to provide care to support thousands of homeless animals all year.
The first event is Woofstock 2018 to be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Cleveland Metroparks Polo Field in Moreland Hills. Called the biggest dog festival in Northeast Ohio, Woofstock attracts thousands of people and their dogs. It is also the largest fundraiser of the year for the Geauga Humane Society. It is a dog and family festival, according to Leah Backo, Rescue Village marketing and public relations coordinator. The “outdoor party” with furry fun benefits the homeless animals at Rescue Village in Russell Township.
The other event, “Pets in the Plaza,” is a first and Rescue Village is teaming up with stores and businesses at the Chagrin Falls Shopping Plaza to be held from noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 29. The participating stores are Town & Country Gifts, Capozzi Design Group, Nouveau Vie, Dazzle and Geiger’s.
Ms. Backo said the “Pets in the Plaza” event was the result of representatives of the stores and businesses at the Chagrin Plaza suggesting the adoption event for both dogs and cats.
Maxine Sykora , an employee at Town and Country Gifts in the shopping plaza, said shop owner Molly Perkins asked her and a co-worker to come up with an event at the plaza. The suggestion came quickly given that Ms. Perkins is a lover of all animals.
Neighboring businesses got involved and there was an enthusiastic reaction, Ms. Sykora said, “And it snowballed from there.”
The “Pets in the Plaza” seemed a natural fit for Town and Country Gifts which includes a pet section and welcomes shoppers’ dogs inside the store, she noted. Her shop will have dogs in need of forever homes both inside and in the large alcove outside the shop that can be taken home that day.
Ruth Ann Capozzi, owner of Capozzi Design Group at the plaza, offered to have adoptable cats inside her store with Rescue Village volunteers during the event.
Geiger’s will be donating 20 percent of its sales of pet supplies to Rescue Village and donations can also be made by shoppers. There will be a raffle basket of $150 worth of pet items. Proceeds of the raffle ticket sales will go to Rescue Village. Geiger’s will also serve as the collection point for any donations of needed items for the animals of Rescue Village, such as Purina dry food products.
Nouveau Vie plans to donate 20 percent of its sales that day and Dazzle also will give 20 percent of the sales of its stuffed dog and cat toys to Rescue Village, according to organizers.
Town and Country Gifts, pledging to donate 20 percent of its entire weekend of sales to Rescue Village, also will have free gifts to those who sign up to adopt or foster a dog or cat.
The goal is to benefit Rescue Village and local businesses by inviting people to see all the stores that are available at the plaza, Ms. Sykora said. “And I think it will be a great idea to continue in the future.”
Woofstock 2018 on Sunday will be a full day of activities at the polo field from registration at 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The first blessing of the animals is at 10:15 a.m. and the second blessing is at 11:15 a.m. There will be a parade at 11:30 a.m. and a “Best Look” contest judged by local celebrities with prizes for Best Group, Best Individual and Most Creative.
Dog games and contests include the annual Best Kisser contest, Ice Cream Eating contest, dog races, a dog and owner look-a-like contest and more, Ms. Backo said.
There will be live music with local musicians and a senior dog olympics for dogs ages 7 and up. Food trucks will serve meals and desserts all day and everyone can shop along Vendors RROW. There will be adoptable dogs from local shelters and rescue groups.
Woofstock 2018 will also offer some new features including Youth Advocacy Day, an educational section of Woofstock for all children who have a passion for animal rescue, Ms. Backo said.
There will be a Woofstock version of Bingo under the pavilion and an interactive lure course from Lucky Dogs Lure Coursing where dogs’ speed and agility will be tested.
The fundraising goal is $100,000 to help Rescue Village provide care and programs to support thousands of homeless animals throughout the year.
Woofstock goers can register at the gate for one of three admission items to enter into Woofstock 2018. The items include a Top Dog T-shirt for a $25 admission, an Average Mutt Bandana for $10 and a Stray Dog Wristband for $5. All children under 10 and dogs are welcome in for free.
To register, visit www.geaugahumane.org/woofstock for more information.