Paws for a Cause is a hit

Published on: February 27, 2020

Paws for a Cause Fiesta a hit among visitors

An initially chilly morning turned into a gorgeous afternoon for the Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort’s recent Paws for a Cause Fiesta at the Firehouse Cultural Center.

Steady streams of visitors enjoyed its live entertainment, commercial vendors, car show, live animals and more, while inside the Firehouse the Kitten Lady, its main attraction, drew standing-room-only crowds.

“I think it was a tremendous success for our first event of its kind,” said Penny Smith, C.A.R.E. board president. “It got the word out about C.A.R.E. and brought people from as far away as Tallahassee, Orlando, Bradenton and Wesley Chapel to see Hannah, the Kitten Lady. Everyone was thoroughly impressed with the depth of her knowledge.

The Paws for a Cause Fiesta was made possible by a grant from the Arts Council of Hillsborough County. The community-wide event highlighted local artists and had a little something for everyone, Smith said.

And it netted about $6,000 for the Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort no-kill animal shelter in Ruskin.

Lois Kindle

Hannah Shaw, aka the Kitten Lady, chats with attendees during a special VIP reception at the recent Paws for a Cause Fiesta at the Firehouse Cultural Center in Ruskin.

Local art teacher Delaney Simone of Apollo Beach shows 5-year-old Amelia Roginski how to affix the stamp she made onto a piece of paper in the children’s art area of the Paws for a Cause Fiesta.

Artist Mary Jane Otani, of MJ Art, demonstrates her work with watercolor in The Studio at the Firehouse Cultural Center during Paws for a Cause Feb 22.

Members of Bay Area Greyhound Adoption pause for a photo during Paws for a Cause last Saturday. From left are Brittany Boudinot with Justin, Greg Suhre with Summer and Dave Wood with Teeter.

C.A.R.E. volunteers Jean Oldham and Karin Smith visit with Paws for a Cause attendee Betty Jones, of Apollo Beach.

Hannah Shaw, the Kitten Lady, impressed Paws for a Cause audiences with her extensive, lifelong knowledge of and experience with felines during two packed presentations at the Firehouse Cultural Center.

Vendor Joan Osman, The Towel Lady, left, shows one of her handmade creations to Pat and Roger Mullenax, of Bradenton.

VIP reception guests are treated to catered hors d’oeuvres while they wait to meet speaker Hannah Shaw, the kitten Lady.

TNVR advocate and community educator Nicole Azar Thompson, of Chalky’s Cat Crusade, chats with Leigh Bailey Davis, of Apollo Beach.

Eighteen-month-old Bunnie, center, a C.A.R.E. alumni, stops by the Paws for a Cause Fiesta. At left is her human, Eric McGee, of Apollo Beach, and at right is Jazmin Luck, a C.A.R.E. volunteer who took care of the pup while the pharaoh-hound mix was at the shelter.

One of two standing-room-only crowds listen to Hannah Shaw, aka the Kitten Lady, while she shares her expertise of all things feline.

Sierra Michael brought Cowboy, 25, a Morgan-Argentine Criollo cross, to educate children about the different breeds and characteristics of horses.

Eleven-year-old Vivian Dougherty, of Sarasota, waits as her “idol,” Hannah Shaw, autographs a book the child’s mom bought her.

Kitten Lady groupies Renee Kilpatrick and her mother Marilyn of Wesley Chapel, wore special headpieces to Hannah Shaw’s presentation.