By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor

After being cooped up all winter and still battling the cold and occasional snow, who doesn’t look forward to celebrating (the eventual arrival of Spring!) with an evening out?

And if your fun evening can be coupled with support of a worthwhile cause, it only serves to double the delight!  Just such an opportunity is coming next Saturday, April 7th as the Humane Society of Harrison County (HSHC) hosts its annual fundraiser “Dance Into Spring”.

The event will be held once again at Village Square in Clarksburg from 8 to 11 p.m., and Rick K & The Allnighters will return to provide the music.  Doors to the Grand Ballroom will open at 6 p.m.

“This group tours all over the U.S. and they have such a huge following,” said Frankie Dennison, Executive Director of HSHC. “They are always happy to be available for our fundraising events because they, too, are caring animal lovers.   Many folks come to our event every year just to hear them and we always pick up new attendees because they are our entertainment.  There is no doubt that their show plays a big part in this annual fundraiser’s success.”

Making it even more appealing to those who attend is that it is not a formal occasion.  Those attending should come dressed comfortably so they can kick up their heels and dance!  Dennison said that although some dress up a little, most consider it a casual evening and even come in jeans and a sweatshirt.

New this year, Dennison noted that people can bring their own food to snack on during the evening.  All drinks, however, must be purchased from Village Square.  And as always, there will be door prizes, a 50/50 drawing and several raffle baskets.

The Grand Ballroom at Village Square can comfortably hold 500, and this event typically draws a crowd anywhere from 350 to 500.

“Our attendance is often weather dependent, but we always have a wonderful crowd,” Dennison added.  “We’d love for this year to be a complete sell-out!”

Tickets are $25 per person.  If you gather a group of friends, larger tables get a slight discount with tables of six paying $140 and tables of eight available for $180.

You can call the shelter at 304-592-1600 to make a reservation over the phone and pay via credit card; or stop in and pay in person with cash, check or credit card.  Tickets can also be ordered online by visiting www.hshcwv.org.  All tickets will be mailed to you ten days in advance, but if you decide at the last minute, your tickets will be held for you at the door.   If tickets are still available the night of the event, they too will be available for purchase at the door.

The Humane Society of Harrison County is a non-profit organization, so they rely heavily on donations, grants, and fundraisers such as this one, which is typically their most successful fundraising event.

“Our shelter is always full,” Dennison stated.  “We adopt out close to 800 animals a year, and as soon as one is adopted, that space is filled because we go to Animal Control immediately to rescue another.”

Dennison explained that funding raised goes toward helping with veterinary costs, food, and basic care of the animals.

“We notice at this time of year in particular we seem to have a lot of kittens,” she continued.  “Having available funds on hand helps us to ensure that they are as healthy as possible before we find them a loving home.”

To help with their low-income spay and neuter program, HSHC has been fortunate to secure grants from the Harrison County Commission and from the state.  A grant from the Parkersburg Area Foundation helped them to purchase necessary surgical equipment.

Dennison concluded, “We feel so very fortunate to have generous supporters, but we are no different than anyone else; our costs, too, increase every year.  We are open seven days a week and always need additional volunteers to help out with cleaning and even to simply interact with the animals.  Our animals’ socialization skills play an important part in our adoptions being successful ones.”

Consider making plans to attend HSHC’s “Dance Into Spring” event next Saturday and help make this another profitable fundraiser.  Make your reservations NOW!