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15th Annual ‘Fur Ball’ Hosted by the Watauga Humane Society Sept. 15 at Blowing Rock Country Club

By Paul T. Choate

Sept. 10, 2012. The 15th annual Watauga Humane Society Fur Ball fundraiser takes place on Saturday, Sept. 15, at a new venue and promises to be bigger and better than ever before.

For the first time, the Fur Ball will be held at the newly renovated Blowing Rock Country Club. Humane Society President Jan Watson said the folks at the Blowing Rock Country Club have been extremely helpful and accommodating throughout preparations for the event.

“The Fur Ball is the Watauga Humane Society’s flagship event of the year – our biggest fundraiser,” said Susanna Russell, director of development. “All of the proceeds from the Fur Ball go directly into our $600,000 plus operating budget.”

The event has 260 total tickets available and according to both Watson and Russell they are almost sold out. Russell said it is extremely likely that they will sell out early this week.

Many of the old favorites are back for this year’s event, including “Yappy Hour” (reception) complete with music by violinist Kimberley Ziegler Ray, an extensive silent auction with items and gift certificates from local restaurants and businesses, a live auction and dinner prepared by Chef George Myers.

Watson said live auctioneer, Jenny Miller, would be offering among other things, a week’s stay at a condo on Ocean Isle, a pink pig-shaped barbecue grill and a football signed by Cam Newton along with two tickets to a Carolina Panthers game.

The Mega Wine Raffle will be returning with an even bigger and better selection and new for this year will be a a “Cash n Carry” table for items under $50.

Event Chairs Watson and Vickie Young, along with Russell and newly hired Executive Director Laurie Vierheller, have been working hard for weeks putting everything together and are anticipating the best Fur Ball yet.

“It’s the most important night of the year for the animals who reside at our shelter,” said Watson.

Miss North Carolina Arlie Honeycutt, of Lenoir, will be in attendance and guests can have their photo made with her. Additionally, Laditude, ranked as one of the top bands in the Southeast, will be performing.

Of course, an event as big as this couldn’t be possible without the help of sponsors and volunteers. Russell noted a special thanks to the following sponsors:

“The Best in Show and Title Sponsor” ($6,000+)
• Peggy Theis
• Bonnie and Jamie Schaeffer of Westglow Resort and Spa

“The Cat’s Meow” ($1,000 to $1,999)
• Ameriprise Financial Services, Patty Smith and Gary Moss
• Bare Essentials Natural Market
• Diane Davant & Associates
• Glynda Valentine
• Jan and John Thomas
• Jan, Gracie and Gilda Watson
• Susan and John Burnett
• Vickie and Paul Young

“The Tail Wagger” ($500 to $999)
• “Goldie” Peluso
• Sara and Tom Speed
• Storie Street Grill
• The Pet Place
• Tweetsie Railroad

Russell also noted special thanks to the top five volunteers; Nancy Coffey, Barbara Robinson, Glynda Valentine, Billie Howell and Margie Byrd.

Fur Ball kicks off at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 15 at the Blowing Rock Country Club, located at 200 Country Club Drive, Blowing Rock. Tickets for the event are $100 and, again, they are almost sold out.

To purchase tickets and for more information, call Jan Watson at 828-264-1743 or email janwatson@charter.net.