Arts & Entertainment and Nonprofits

Fundraiser turns out pretty doggone good

August 13, 2014
| By Pat Evans |
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Bissell foundation funnels funds to animal agencies
Cathy Bissell founded the Bissell Pet Foundation. Photo via fb.com

It’s been said that money can’t buy love, but it sure will buy a lot of other things for “man’s best friend.”

The annual Bissell Blocktail Party at Mangiamo! restaurant recently raised more than $250,000 for more than a dozen area animal welfare organizations.

The party, which took place on the lawns of Mangiamo!, featured live entertainment, a photo booth, silent auction and plenty of “yappetizers” for both humans and dogs.

The event was put on by the Bissell Pet Foundation, which was created in 2011 by Cathy Bissell as an extension of her longtime love for animals and commitment to their welfare.

“New this year was the ability to bid from your mobile device,” said Mara Rasikas, who sits on the event committee of the foundation. “We also had ‘pet painting’ by Dawn Omboy and we introduced our first ‘Blocktail Cocktail’ party drink.”

The silent auction included four Winspire travel experiences, which helped contribute more than $4,000 to the cause. Included were a Saks Fifth Avenue shopping spree, a long weekend in New York, a vacation in Telluride, Colo., and a Napa Valley wine tasting trip.

“Attendees loved the vacation packages offered in our silent auction,” Rasikas said. “Winspire was so wonderful to work with, and we can’t wait to work with them again next year.”

The quarter of a million dollars will be split between 14 area animal organizations: Community Spay Neuter Initiative Partnership; Humane Society of West Michigan; Vicky’s Pet Connection; Pound Buddies; Kent County Animal Shelter; West Michigan Spay & Neuter Clinic; Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary; Safe Haven Humane Society; Lake Haven Rescue; Reuben’s Room Cat Rescue; Carol’s Ferals; Kelley’s Heart to Heart; and Focus on Ferals.

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