As one of the main driving forces behind Qualicum Cat Rescue, Barb Ashmead has seen no shortage of furballs in her time, but she’s hoping Oceanside residents will cough up something a lot more lucrative next month.
In fact, she’s hoping to raise at least $20,000 when she and her team put on the annual Furball Auction, slated for Saturday, Feb. 18 at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre.
“It’s a prime rib and vegetarian dinner and a silent and live auction,” Ashmead said. “One hundred per cent of the proceeds go to the cat rescue.”
The money, she said, is needed more than ever because, although Qualicum Cat Rescue has no paid staff, the demand for the services it provides is growing by leaps and bounds.
“We need all the help we can get,” she said. “Last year we adopted out 250 cats and kittens, which was 50 per cent more than the year before. With the help of the PetSmart charity program, among others, we have spayed 200 cats in the Coombs and Errington area. That only leaves me with 1,800 still to go.”
Ashmead said the 160 tickets usually sell out quickly, adding there is more reason than ever for people to get on board this year.
“We have a very special item for the live auction,” she said. “Aaron Nicklen is donating a week at a luxury two bedroom condo in Hawaii.”
Ashmead said she has a great many other items for both live and silent auctions.
“Sally Laidlaw always paints a picture for us and her work is incredible,” Ashmead said. “We’ve also got men tools, like a Dewalt router. As well, we’ve got a table of wine, where we sell tickets and if you win you get all the wine on the table. Last year we had 69 bottles — and there was some really nice wine in there.”
She is still looking for more. Any donations for the event can be dropped off at Qualicum Pet Foods at 104 – 166 West First Ave. prior to the event.
Tickets are $35 each and can be picked up at Qualicum Pet Foods.
Doors open at 5 p.m., with dinner starting at 6:30.
For more information contact Ashmead at 250-752-2797.