Take pause for a local cause: Art auction, gala event

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Shelly Birkelo
Friday, July 26, 2013

JANESVILLE--Rock County Humane Society staff are planning the Pawcasso Art Auction & Gala to raise money for the private, nonprofit animal shelter.

The Saturday, Aug. 10, first-time event will feature paw art by humane society animals, artwork by local artists, food, music, a cash bar, silent auction and raffle, said Pam Garland-Gjestson, humane society adoption supervisor and volunteer coordinator.

The goal is to raise at least $1,000, she said.

"Some people don't want to just write a check (to show their financial support). But if they go to an event and spend money, sometimes it's more fun," Garland-Gjestson said.

Janesville artists Kim Wepking-Richards and Gail Pratt Tingfah agreed.

"I can't give that kind of money, but I can donate something that can bring in that kind of money," said animal lover Kim Wepking-Richards, who donated a framed and matted 11-by-14-inch pencil drawing of a lab puppy.

"I like to give to charity," she said, admitting she'd be thrilled if the piece raises a couple hundred dollars.

Pratt-Tingfah, who adopted her latest canine pet from the local humane society, said it's important for everyone to donate for animals that have no voice.

"I make contributions to Friends of Noah, the wild animal rescue in Lake Geneva and animal welfare groups on a national basis," she said. "But this is my local humane society and their first effort. I like to support new adventures and create a good basis for another year," she said. 

Pratt-Tingfah contributed a 12-by-14-inch art piece, valued at $100, which is a combination of two photos, taken eight years apart, that relate to one subject--animals.

"One day I was messing around on the computer and the images came together. They just spoke to me as a love of dogs," she said.

Event proceeds will be used by the shelter for cat litter, utility bills, kitty formula and bleach, Garland-Gjestson said.

Humane society staff have helped dogs, cats, a ferret and a bunny create 15 pieces of paw art. Local artists have donated five more pieces.

"We're still accepting donations," Garland-Gjestson said.

"The more we have, the more diverse the gallery will be and the more money we will raise," she said.

Pawcasso is one of a number of events--primarily fundraisers--the humane society has launched this year.

"We had a kitten shower, a microchip clinic and we're having a carnival in September," Garland-Gjestson said.

But this event, she said, "is just going to be a really fun, neat night. I'm really excited about it!"

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