2nd annual HOWLaween Ball benefits four local animal nonprofits | SummitDaily.com

2nd annual HOWLaween Ball benefits four local animal nonprofits

Jessica Smith
jsmith@summitdaily.com

It seems there is no shortage of animal lovers in the High Country, whether it's those who adopt dogs and cats from the local shelter, or others who spend their weekends volunteering with ranch and farm animals. The local atmosphere reflects this passion, with a variety of events and organizations dedicated to animal well-being.

The HOWLaween Ball on Friday, Oct. 24, represents a coalition between four local nonprofits with animal-related mission statements. The event is a 21-and-over costume ball, with appetizers, desserts, drinks as well as a silent auction and costume contest. Proceeds will be split evenly between the Swan Center Outreach, Animal Rescue of the Rockies, Far View Horse Rescue and the League for Animals and People of the Summit (LAPS). All four organizations are 501(c)3 nonprofits that operate within Summit and nearby counties.

CREATING A COLLABORATION

The ball is the brainchild of Sally Beerup, who is directly involved in two of the four organizations: she's the president of LAPS and manager of the Horse Cents Thrift Store in Silverthorne, which benefits the Swan Center Outreach. She also knows the people behind Animal Rescue of the Rockies and Far View Horse Rescue.

"I just thought, you know, it would be nice to be able to benefit other animal nonprofits too," she said. "It's pretty easy to have a dog event, because everybody's got dogs. Horse rescues are a little tougher."

Beerup said she didn't feel that the nonprofits are ever competing against each other for fundraising events, because each has a unique focus different from the others. But she recognizes that LAPS, which had a particularly event-laden year in 2014, tends to have an easier time putting on events due to dogs being everywhere and easy to transport.

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Plus, she's a fan of the holiday.

"I love Halloween, I really do," she said with a laugh. "So I just thought it was a cool thing."

It didn't take much convincing to get the other organizations on board, and 2013 saw the first annual HOWLaween Ball take place at the Silverthorne Pavilion. Beerup estimates that around 230 people attended, which drew in around $12,000 total.

"Obviously, we hope to equal or exceed last year," said Karen Martiny, founder of Animal Rescue of the Rockies. "Hopefully it will grow every year. I think so — everybody had a pretty good time last year."

CRAZY COSTUMES

Although any furry and four-legged companions need to stay home, their owners are encouraged to live it up for a night, with a number of costume contest prizes to be won. Attendees are encouraged to do their best in the scariest, funniest and sexiest categories. There will also be prizes awarded for the best couple costume and best group costume. Last year's best couple were Jamey and Ian Andrews, who dressed up as Mary Poppins and Bert the chimney sweep.

"Last year it was just over-the-top costumes, prizes," said Nancy Turner, who's on the board for the Swan Center Outreach. "It seemed like a lot of animal lovers were there, which was wonderful."

The event will feature food, a cash bar and, new this year, a dessert table with goodies made by local bakers and local businesses, such as Blue Moon Bakery.

A silent auction will feature more than 150 items donated by businesses around the county. They range from pet-related items such as treats and training, to local restaurant gift certificates and Frisco Tubing Hill tickets, to name just a few.

"We've got quite a bit of selection in there," Beerup said.

LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS

Each of the four benefiting organizations has a mission focused on helping animals in some way.

LAPS has been around since 1990. One of its main aims is promoting the neutering and spaying of animals in the county by making it financially feasible for everyone. LAPS also has several funding programs, including one that assists low-income residents in paying high veterinary bills.

Animal Rescue of the Rockies was founded in Summit in 2003, with the goal of providing adoptive and foster homes for cats and dogs, rather than placing them in a shelter. In 2012, more than 550 dogs and 150 cats from overcrowded shelters were successfully adopted, according to the organization.

The Swan Center Outreach arrived in Summit County in 2008. It rescues abandoned and neglected horses, giving them a permanent home on the organization's ranch north of Silverthorne. The ranch is also home to various other animals including llamas, goats, sheep and an alpaca. The center provides leadership and animal handling programs for youth, as well as volunteer opportunities for anyone.

Based on a 40-acre ranch outside of Fairplay, the Far View Horse Rescue will occasionally board some of its horses in the Breckenridge stables during the summer months. Founded in 2010, the group utilizes volunteer power to rescue and rehabilitate abused and neglected horses. The rehabilitated horses are then put up for adoption into new homes.

"Each of the groups will have an information booth at the event in the lobby, where people can talk to each group about what we do and get literature and that sort of thing," said Martiny.

The event is also looking for a few more volunteers to help out on Friday night, Beerup said. Volunteers must wear a costume, but they can attend the event for free and don't have to work the entire night, she said. Those interested should sign up online at http://www.howlaween.com or call Gena at (970) 389-6370.

"I think it's a great way for people to give to the nonprofits of this county that are doing work with animals," said Turner. "It's a great way to support us and have fun at the same time."

HOWLaween Ball

Date: Friday, Oct. 24

Time: 7-11 p.m.

Location: Silverthorne Pavilion, 400 Blue River Pkwy, Silverthorne

Tickets: $18 in advance (up until October 23 at midnight) and $25 day of the event on October 24 and at the door. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.howlaween.com or in Person at these locations (cash/checks only)

• The Summit Foundation offices, 111 Lincoln Avenue, Breckenridge

• Horse Cents Thrift Store, 252 Warren Avenue, Silverthorne

• For Pet’s Sake, ARR Thrift Store, 203 N. Main Street, Breckenridge

More info: To learn more about the beneficiaries, visit their websites: LAPS (http://www.summitlaps.com), Swan Center Outreach (http://www.swancenter.org), Far View Horse Rescue (http://www.FarViewHorseRescue.com), Animal Rescue of the Rockies (http://www.AnimalRescueoftheRockies.org).