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Ranch Humane Society plans four-legged fashion festival

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  • | 5:00 a.m. January 11, 2012
  • East County
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — Dozens of East County pets will hit the red carpet and put their best paw forward in anticipation of being named the area’s next up and coming star.

Pets will vie for the title of Best Celebrity Look-A-Like, Best Ensemble Cast, Leading Lady, America’s Sweetheart and the Funniest Character, among others, during the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch’s first Walk of Fame fundraiser.

The event, which will be held from 1-4 p.m. Jan. 15, on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch, is free and open to the public. During the Walk of Fame, guests and their pets will enjoy a pet parade and costume contest, a family festival, raffles, musical entertainment and more.

There will be a $5 registration fee for those animals looking to compete in the costume contest. Celebrity judges, including Manatee County Commissioner Carol Whitmore, ABC 7’s Max Winitz and Hayley Wielgus and local veterinarian Dr. Anne Chauvet, among others, will award cash prizes for the best costumes in a variety of categories.

“It’s a unique and fun event corresponding with what’s going on in the world,” Walk of Fame events director Suzette Jones said. “It’s just a creative burst, and it’s kind of the kickoff for the season for the neighborhood. Everyone loves their animals.”

In addition to more than 20 adoptable cats and dogs, the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch also has invited Manatee and Sarasota animal services, nine other shelters and a plethora of dog-affiliated businesses to join in the event.

“Some people say you’re inviting the competition, but we’re all in it together to save as many animals as we can,” Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch board member Fred Meyer said.

The goal of the event is twofold — to raise money to completely furnish the Humane Society’s spay and neuter clinic and eventually buy property to build a full-sized shelter.

The Humane Society’s top priority is already complete, thanks in large part to 12-year-old Sydney Ashley, who went around the neighborhoods in Lakewood Ranch with a copy of her story, which ran in the Dec. 29 issue of the East County Observer, and asked for donations. As of this past weekend, Sydney already had collected more than $2,000 for the cause. The new fully furnished spay and neuter clinic is scheduled to open Feb. 1.

In addition to the more than 50 vendors that will be on site, the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch also will be selling celebrity calendars and T-shirts to assist in the fundraising effort.

Contact Jen Blanco at [email protected].

Walk of Fame
WHEN: 1 to 4 p.m. Jan. 15
WHERE: Main Street at Lakewood Ranch
REGISTRATION: Register your pet at the Humane Society at Lakewood Ranch, 7334 Trade Court; or 2nd Chance Boutique, 6293 Lake Osprey Drive
INFO: 361-1071 or 361-1038


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