By LOIS KINDLE
Immediately after Thanksgiving, many of us begin turning our thoughts to Christmas and buying gifts for family and friends. It’s a time when local charities hope we think of them, too.
So the Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort no-kill animal shelter in Ruskin is hosting its second annual Gift & Wine Fair from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 4 at the Southshore Falls Ballroom, 122 Falls Blvd., Apollo Beach.
“It’s a great way to kick off your holiday shopping, take advantage of free wine tasting by PRP Wines and help C.A.R.E. raise operational funds for the coming year,” said Cheri Schumacher, C.A.R.E.’s outreach coordinator and event chair. “All of the proceeds will support the shelter.”
The $10 admission, payable by cash, credit card or a tax-deductible check made payable to C.A.R.E., includes one free raffle ticket.
The event will feature lots of vendors, chance and 50/50 raffles, silent auction and a wine pull. Tickets for the chance auction are $1 each, $5 for seven or $20 for an entire arm’s length. Wine-pull tickets are $10 each.
Shoppers will find Kate Hamilton’s fine silver jewelry, Michael Sadler’s wood art, pottery, original paintings and art work, items for pets, paper scrolled art and calligraphy, Morning Sun snap charms, handmade cards, Nancy Rademaker’s homemade jams and jellies, sewn gifts, home décor and wreaths, T-shirts, glass art and more. Charlie Buntin from Cigars on the Boulevard will be on hand offering a variety of fine cigars.
The silent auction will feature a Poseidon Fishing Charter, valued at $500; a $500 weekend RV rental from Drews RV Sales and Service; $150 Shore Bliss Yoga package, including a mat and bolster; one-day batting-cage pass at D-Bat Baseball and Softball Academy, including a mitt and athletic bag to take home, valued at $100; a $180 package from Margaret Taormina, of Healing Effects Animal Massage; movement and mobility assessment with autographed copy of “Get UP! Defy Aging with Movement” by physical therapist Nancy Alexander, of Pro Movement Solutions, a $120 value; yard flocking by Flamboozled worth $100; Super Bowl LV memorabilia package, including a Super Bowl LV football, Tampa Bay Bucs clock and more, valued at $80; and a golf round for two at Caloosa Golf and Country Club, Sun City Center, an $80 value.
The event’s generous cash sponsors include the following South Shore area businesses: Canine Cabana, Rowdy’s Pet Resort, Camp Bow Wow, Drew’s RV Sales and Service, East Bay Insurance, U Call – We Haul, At Home Auto Care and Blu Marc Printing.
Additionally, The Vineyards Trattoria and Pizzeria, Alpha Pizza, Dog Gone Holistic and Fiore’s Restaurant; Armetta’s Gelato and Caffè, Glory Days, Latitudes and Mendola’s Italian Kitchen; and Texas Roadhouse, Cold Stone Creamery and others have donated gift cards or certificates of $10 to $50 to be included in assorted gift baskets, raffles or auctions.
C.A.R.E. is the only no-kill animal shelter in southern Hillsborough County. The mostly volunteer 501(c)(3) charitable organization provides transitional housing for neglected, abused and unwanted dogs and cats and occasional permanent housing for those who are unadoptable, aging or infirm. Its long-term mission is to reduce the number of homeless and abandoned animals in the area through adoption, sterilization and education. Since its founding in 2000, thousands of dogs and cats have been rescued and adopted.
The shelter is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
For more information, visit www.careshelter.org/.