WAIF rakes in funds for homeless animals | KUDOS

The Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation held its annual Spring Fling auction June 4 at the Useless Bay Golf & Country Club.

The event raised $100,000 and honored WAIF’s 20th year of dedicated work for Whidbey Island’s homeless animals.

WAIF president Kit Marit said the money raised will help save critically ill animals and provide food, care and shelter for hundreds of animals housed at WAIF facilities throughout the year.

The organization, she said, is grateful to the many volunteers, attendees, businesses and individuals who supported the fundraiser.

“This is, by far, the most funds raised at a WAIF Spring Fling and we owe it all to the support of our community,” reported Merritt Atwood and Melene Thompson, co-chairwomen for the event.

The community also stepped up in a big way for the Fund-A-Need portion of the auction. Those funds will provide additional resources for extraordinary care, and will help support and expand WAIF’s Crisis Care and Prevent-A-Litter spay and neuter programs.

“Some families cannot afford crisis healthcare for their pets, and so are forced by their financial situation to sadly give them up,” said Shari Bibich, WAIF’s shelter manager.

“WAIF wants to help people keep their pets who mean so much to them. The additional funds will expand WAIF’s Crisis Care program to afford that possibility,” she said.

The flood of donations for the auction was extraordinary. The silent auction offered more than 150 items from businesses and individuals throughout Whidbey. The live auction offered several new trips and items, as well as many island favorites. Bidders were generous, and even those who could not attend sent in their donations.

“Chef Dave Blue, of Useless Bay Golf & Country Club and event chairwoman Dawn Ritter were exacting in every detail. Participants enjoyed the evening immensely,” said Bob Rupp, WAIF’s vice president.

Rupp officiated at the auction and offered to “vacuum pockets” with his Dyson handheld vacuum.

Organizers said these donations to WAIF have helped Whidbey’s homeless animals and all those folks who benefit from their companionship.

WAIF sent out a note of thanks to everyone for their tremendous “over the top” support.

Spring Fling 2011 sponsors are listed on the website at


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