By LOIS KINDLE
The Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) no-kill animal shelter is getting in the Christmas spirit a bit early this year. The Ruskin-based nonprofit will host a Gift & Wine Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Southshore Falls Grand Ballroom in Apollo Beach.
“This is a fundraiser to help with our operational expenses, which are now $160,000 per year,” said C.A.R.E. President Penny Smith. “It’s a great opportunity to get your holiday shopping done early, while supporting our dogs and cats at the same time.”
The event will feature more than 30 vendors selling everything from original artwork and wood crafts, handmade cards and wreaths, boutique clothing and glass art to jewelry, bath and body gifts, Ybor City cigars and sports photos. They will include Boozy Bakery, Bark & Purr, Damsel in Defense, Scentsy, Senegence lip products, Beachy Boho Life, Jade Soap Shop, Cuban Stogies and MJ Natural Resources CBD hemp products and others.
Items like jams, jellies and baked goods will also be sold.
The fair will also include a 50/50 drawing and silent auction of things like a quilt valued at $350 to $400; three-night stay at Little Harbor; tickets to a Firehouse Pub event at the Firehouse Cultural Center, plus drinks valued at $75; original art valued at $200; hand-beaded jewelry valued at $75; a spa/massage basket valued at $150.
In addition, gift baskets for pets, Doterra Essential Oils package, wine gift basket, tea gift basket and a Mary Kay package and lots more will be chance auctioned off. Tickets are $1 each; $5 for seven or $20 for an entire arm’s length.
And if you like to imbibe, be sure to enter the event’s Wine Pull to win a nice bottle of wine valued from at least $10 to $30. Tickets are $10 each, and you can buy as many as you like.
Admission to the Gift & Wine Fair is $10 cash or a tax-deductible check made payable to C.A.R.E. All proceeds will go to the shelter.
“We’re asking this to prevent a long line at the door,” Smith said.
Some vendors may accept credit cards.
The first 50 guests will receive a free C.A.R.E.-logo shopping bag with some goodies inside.
The Southshore Falls Grand Ballroom is at 122 Falls Blvd. in the Del Webb Southshore Falls community of Apollo Beach.
“The vendors we’ve invited are offering high-quality gift items you’ll enjoy giving to your friends and family,” said Cheri Schumacher, event coordinator. “We invite all area residents to come shop with us and support South Shore’s only local animal shelter.”
The Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization providing transitional housing and care for neglected abused and unwanted dogs and cats. Its long-term mission is to reduce the number of homeless and abandoned animals through adoption, sterilization and education.