By KEVIN CHIRI
Tammany West news
COVINGTON – When considering the work done for animals at the St. Tammany Humane Society—doing so in an aging building that was constructed nearly 70 years ago—the success of the staff there is nothing less than phenomenal.
That is why the upcoming annual fundraiser—Unleashed! Rescue Me Gala—is so important.
Susie Kaznowitz, director of development for the Humane Society, said the organization is continuing to work towards their hopes for building a new facility in the coming year or two. It is not only a much anticipated project, but badly needed for the facility on Harrison Avenue that has been busting out at the seams for many years.
“This building was built in the 1950s and has a capacity of about 150 animals. We are a ‘no kill’ shelter and it is only through the amazing work of our foster parent families that we have been able to do that,” she explained. “But we really do need a new facility when you consider the growth of the parish for over 50 years.”
Unleashed! is one of the two major fundraisers for the non-profit St. Tammany Humane Society each year. The event on Saturday, Oct. 7 will be held at the Pontchartrain Yacht Club on the Mandeville lakefront from 7 to 11 p.m.
The group is seeking sponsorships, and selling tickets for $125 in advance or $150 at the door. You can get tickets by calling 985-892-7387 or going online to sthumane.org/unleased2017. For sponsorships, call Susie at 985-892-7387.
In 2016 the St. Tammany Humane Society took in and saved over 1,150 animals. But the numbers continue to rise as the population grows in the parish. The current building has been added to, renovated, remodeled and changed up here-and-there to make office space for the many departments.
One key way the Humane Society has raised funds is by opening its own full-service veterinarian clinic, something many people are not aware of.When locals utilize the clinic it is helping save dogs and cats, Kaznowitz said.
“The truth is that we are overloaded with animals all the time and it’s constantly a challenge to save them,” she said. “But we always do, and much of that is from foster families that take in the animals until we can get them adopted.”
The group now owns 12 acres down the street on Harrison Avenue, thanks to a donation from a supporter, but they expect to need approximately $5 million to build the shelter that the west St. Tammany area needs.
“That’s why this fundraiser is so important,” Kaznowitz said. “Even if you can’t come you can make a donation to the group, or become a sponsor. We have always had very good support from the community at this fundraiser, but this year we need it more than ever to get us closer to the new facility.”
This year’s Unleashed! event offers a new look holding it on the Mandeville lakefront at the Pontchartrain Yacht Club.
Scott Discon, Unleashed! Committee Co-Chair and Vice President of STHS Board of Directors, said “We updated the event in 2016 with a new location, new live entertainment, and better guest experiences. As a result, we saw a record number of attendance and funds raised – we can’t thank the community enough. We have so much planned for 2017, so we invite everyone to come make a difference with St. Tammany Humane Society and have a great time!”
2017 Unleashed! Rescue Me Gala presented by First Castle Federal Credit Union offers an action-packed evening. Pardo’s American Bistro, Tchoupstix Sushi & Grill, The Lakehouse and Maison Lafitte will craft cuisine as the sun sets on the Mandeville lakefront. Football legend and former New Orleans Saint, Rich Mauti, will again add his entertaining touch as event MC as guests dance the night away to the sounds of Four Unplugged.