On Dec. 3, Paws Animal Adoption Center welcomed 150 guests to its biggest annual fundraiser, Auction for Animals, where bidders enjoyed a festive presentation of food and items at the Samoset Resort while showing support for homeless animals by bidding on silent and live auction items. With the event’s new venue, more than 200 donated items and the advent of online bidding, Paws Animal Adoption Center raised more than $43,000 through a combination of event registration, sponsorships, the silent and live auctions and the Fund-a-Cause paddle raise.

This year’s 10-person volunteer committee introduced elements to the event that contributed to the fundraiser, more than doubling the organization’s goals. Two weeks before the event, an online auction kicked things off by allowing supporters to purchase items at “buy-now” prices and place bids on items going to bid sheet. “The online aspect opened bidding to our larger support base, including summer residents who prefer warmer winter climates,” said event organizer Kathleen Gilbert. “This, along with wonderfully generous merchants, amazing volunteers and outstanding donated items, meant that the bar was raised to take this year’s fundraiser to a whole new level.”

Another new aspect, Fund-a Cause, significantly impacted the overall fundraising results by bringing in $13,800 in itself. This portion of the event encouraged participants to make cash donations to help the organization realize one of its 2016 initiatives – the implementation of in-house medical care for animals waiting to be adopted.

“We couldn’t be happier with the successful outcome of this year’s auction,” said Amie Hutchison, PAWS executive director. She went on to say, “This is a big and exciting year for PAWS with our recent move to a new facility and we were counting on this event to help us continue caring for the animals and assisting pet owners in the 10 communities we serve. Not only did we exceed our goals, but due to the success of Fund-a-Cause, we are now able to immediately launch the first phase of our in-house medical treatment program, relieving stressors on both animals and staffing.”

Along with the new venue, the variety of items donated, the volunteers and the number of businesses and people coming out to participate, PAWS credits the following people and organizations with contributing to the overall success of this event: the Samoset Resort, for a generous business sponsorship of food and venue; Adventure Advertising, for providing graphics and promotional materials; Penbay Veterinary Associates, for a business supporter role; and auctioneer Bruce Gamage, for the donation of professional services.