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Bark & Boogie Ball benefits humane society

Gala is Sept. 14 at conference center

POSTED: September 5, 2013 12:28 a.m.
 

There is still time to get tickets to one of Forsyth County’s most popular fundraisers, however they are going fast.

The ninth annual Bark & Boogie Ball, the single largest fundraiser of the year for the Humane Society of Forsyth County, is set for 6 p.m. to midnight Sept. 14 at the Lanier Technical College Forsyth Conference Center.

Debbie Booth, chairwoman of organizing committee, said the ball is “probably the largest formal social event of the year in the county.”

When it was first held nine years ago, the ball drew about 200 people. Over the years that number has more than doubled and Booth is expecting record numbers this year of more than 500 in attendance.

She said tickets have been selling fast, so anyone wishing to attend should purchase some soon.

“We still have some open areas, but if someone wants a particular area, like say near the dance floor, they should go ahead and get that request to me,” she said.

Tickets are $90 each or a table of 10 can be purchased for $800. Tickets must be purchased in advance.

This will be the ball’s third year at the Forsyth Conference Center, 3410 Ronald Reagan Blvd. In years prior, it had to be held at facilities in north Fulton due to space limitations at Forsyth venues.

“We are so happy to be able to have the ball in Forsyth County now since that’s where we are and where most of the animals we help come from,” Booth said. “[The conference center] has really allowed us to properly accommodate the ball.”

As a black-tie event, those who attend each year go all out, especially the women.

“The men, some of them wear tuxedos and some just wear suits, but the women really enjoy the chance to get all dressed up in their fanciest dresses,” she said.

The event will feature an open bar, appetizers and dinner from Tam’s Backstage Restaurant, as well as live music for dancing from two Atlanta area bands.

There will also be both live and silent auctions of numerous items.

“So far, I have over $100,000 in auction items that have been donated,” she said. “We have something for everyone.”

Booth said they include trip packages to Costa Rica and the north Georgia mountains, jewelry, sports memorabilia, gift certificates and many others.

There will also be some information given about the Humane Society and its programs, but Booth said presentations are kept to a minimum at the event.

“The ball is all about dancing and just having a really fun night,” she said. “We do want people to know what [the Humane Society] is all about, but mostly we want people to just be able to enjoy themselves.”

While a couple of ambassador animals will be on hand to greet guests, Booth noted that pets, while the beneficiaries of the event, are not permitted to attend.

“Formal wear and pets just don’t mix very well,” she joked.

But there will be plenty of opportunities for patrons to sponsor animals who are at the society’s no-kill shelter on Keith Bridge Road or in foster homes.

“We’ll have photos of a lot of the animals and they can sign up to sponsor a particular dog or cat,” she said.

As the single largest fundraiser of the year for the society, which operates solely on donations and receives no government funding, the ball makes a big impact for the animals throughout the year, according to Booth.

“There are a lot of costs that go well above and beyond just the basic care of the animals,” she said. “We have many animals that come to us with medical problems that have to be addressed, which can cost thousands of dollars.

“The total costs go far beyond the adoption fees we charge.”

She said the Bark & Boogie Ball has raised as much as $80,000 in some years for the local Humane Society and its many programs, which include saving animals from kill-shelters, weekly adoption events, animal therapy programs for facilities such as nursing homes, and outreaches for family who need financial assistance in caring for their pets.

“It’s a very important event because it directly helps the animals,” Booth said.

“A lot of people work really hard for many months to make sure it’s a success, and we’re hoping this is the best year yet for the ball.”

 

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