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CLINE: New theme for annual SPCA fundraiser

Todd Cline

Todd Cline

IF YOU GO

What: Georgia SPCA fundraising bash

When: Sept. 7

Where: Gwinnett Center

Cost: $50 per peson

More info: www.Oz.GeorgiaSPCA.org

This year the Georgia SPCA is saying goodbye to Elvis, but anyone who knows anything about the organization knows it always says hello to Fido. The SPCA, located in Suwanee, announced this week that tickets are on sale for its fourth annual benefit bash, and while the theme has changed the goal certainly has not.

The bash — to be held Sept. 7 at the Gwinnett Center — is the SPCA’s larges fundraiser of the year. This year the goal is to raise $40,000 to go toward taking care of the animals it houses until it can find new owners for them. So the “The Wizard of Oz” theme makes sense, especially with the motto: “There’s no place like a home.”

For the folks who work and volunteer for the SPCA, there’s no truer words. One of those volunteers — Tori Boone — is a copy editor at the Daily Post. I can tell you firsthand from many conversations with her (complete with iPhone pictures of the dogs she’s taken care of) how important the animals, and the SPCA, are to the volunteers.

While they love the dogs and other animals that come into the shelter (not to mention walk, feed and take care of them) the goal is to get them to good homes with caring families. The money raised at the bash helps make that possible.

“When we take them in, a lot of the times they are ill,” said Jane Lumbatis, chairwoman of the bash. “So we have to pay to have them taken care of medically. We have to pay to have them spayed and neutered. We have to pay to house them; pay to feed them.”

You get the picture. It takes a lot of money to keep the organization running, which is why the bash is so important. The cost is $50 and includes dinner and entry into a raffle for a hot air balloon ride for two. There will also be speakers — Pam Johnson-Bennett, author, cat behaviorist and star of the Discovery Channel’s TV show “Psycho Kitty” and Tim Link, author, animal communicator and host of the syndicated radio show “Animal Writes” — and a silent auction.

But one of the big changes to this year’s bash is dancing, plenty of dancing. This year there will be a DJ and Lumbatis expects the dance floor to be crowded.

“What we found is people just want to get out there and party and dance,” she said.

Organizers are encouraging guests to dress as their favorite character from “The Wizard of Oz,” but if that’s not your cup of tea you can go to the SPCA’s Facebook page and see the animals dressed that way. And you can go to the SPCA offices — located at 1175 Buford Highway — on Aug. 10 to have pictures of your own pets taken, another fundraiser for the group.

In previous years, the celebration’s theme was “You Ain’t Nothin’ But A Pound Dog.” This year Elvis has left the building, and if things go well for the SPCA, a bunch of dogs in need of a home won’t be far behind.

Email Todd Cline at todd.cline@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column runs in Wednesdays.