In no particular order…
- The PAWS “On the Throttle” Poker Run. This biker-supported fundraiser, held every mid-March, brings together bikers who travel to several bars and restaurants in Okaloosa and Walton counties to “play” a poker hand for fun and possible awards at the final destination, The Edge in Niceville. There, a silent auction, food and beverages and musical entertainment keep the crowd’s interest until I emcee the final announcements and thank yous from the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society. A really fun gig to emcee, plus I like to pet the doggies who get to ride securely in their owners’ baskets and sidecars!
- The S.O.C.K.S. (Save Our Cats and Kittens) Annual Dinner. Our local no-kill cat shelter’s major fundraiser in February was a black-tie event (“Top Hats And Tails”)—a lovely evening indeed. The S.O.C.K.S. gala always features a guest speaker, along with a dinner, silent auction, live entertainment, and camaraderie amongst the feline fanciers. I enjoy seeing lots of friends.
- Destin Pooch Palooza. The fourth annual event was held in March, with a stellar turnout of dogs and their humans enjoying a day of entertainment, demos, food, vendors, rescue groups, a silent auction and more at the Destin Dog Park. Three of my fave events are the Blessing of the Animals, the Doxie/Small Dog Races put on by the Rescued Rescuers of the Emerald Coast, and the K9 demo by the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. This furry festival benefits the Destin Dog Park, a community treasure. Also a fun event to emcee…so many dogs to love on throughout the day.
- A New Leash on Love. This year’s event will be held Nov. 2 at the Bagdad Mill Site Park in Santa Rosa County. Like most other animal-centric festivals, New Leash has demos, displays, rescue groups, food, and the Doxie/Small Dog Races. The most important message New Leash imparts is that the nonprofit A Hope For Santa Rosa County helps with low-cost spaying and neutering and is trying to build a permanent low-cost facility in the county.
- Sip N Shop. One of Alaqua Animal Refuge’s largest fundraiser is held every April at Emeril’s Coastal Italian restaurant. Although I don’t emcee this event (it doesn’t need one!), I wanted to mention it, as it’s really a lovely late morning/early afternoon gathering in support of Walton County’s premier animal sanctuary. Fabulous wines, a silent auction, an exquisite lunch, and private shopping make for a fun time.
Longtime audio/on-air talent and professional in-home pet sitter Aimee Shaffer is thrilled to volunteer as emcee at many Beachcomberland animal events. Contact her at AimeesAnimalMagnetism.com or call 850-368-5685.