By LOIS KINDLE
If you’ve been dying to get outdoors, do something different and you’re an animal lover, an upcoming event at the Firehouse Cultural Center may be just what you’re looking for.
The cultural center, Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort no-kill animal shelter and Kittie Corral will sponsor the inaugural Sizzling Summer Petapalooza from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, June 6, to engage the community with some fun, shopping and support of animal-welfare groups. It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the community’s nonprofit rescue-, foster- and adoption- organizations.
“This event is about rescuing the rescuers,” said Beth Stein, C.A.R.E. board member and programming coordinator for the cultural center. “These nonprofits are definitely struggling right now.
“Rescuers rely on cash, time and other resources,” she added. “Due to COVID-19, resources have been going to other much-needed charities, but it’s important to remember that the homeless, abandoned and abused animals in our area are still in need.”
The following organizations and pet-related businesses have already signed up for the event, and others have been invited to participate:
∙ Kittie Corral
∙ Critter Mama Rescue
∙ Elmira’s Wildlife Sanctuary
∙ Community Pet Project
∙ Feline Folks
∙ Bark ‘n Purr Pet Emporium
∙ Dog Gone Holistic
∙ TLC Pet Snip
∙ TLC Pet Movers
∙ Margie’s Mystical Boutique
∙ Honor Thy Pet
∙ Kit Kat’s Catnip Mats
∙ Oliver and Company Pet Sitting
∙ Pooch Smooch Pet Services
∙ Sketch Inc. (animal caricatures)
∙ The Dog Patch day care center
∙ Tags Mobile Grooming
∙ We Insure Group Pet Insurance
∙ South Shore Cleaning & Supply
∙ MJ Natural Resources
Breakfast and lunch are available for purchase from the Big Easy food truck, located off Shell Point Road and First Avenue Northeast in the lot directly across from the Firehouse Cultural Center. To see the menu ahead of time, you can visit Facebook and search for Big Easy Concessions.
There’s still time to participate if your nonprofit group or business hasn’t yet signed up. Charity organizations get in free, and businesses pay $20. A table and chairs are provided.
A raffle prize is requested from participants but not required for the prize drawing.
Vendors will be spaced per CDC and county guidelines. To register, call Stein at 813-645-7651.
“We hope the community will come out and meet the people involved in running these organizations and support them in any way they can,” said Penny Smith, president of C.A.R.E. “[All have] used on-hand resources to provide their essential services throughout the pandemic and now need public support to continue their important missions.”