Fundraiser for felines
By Amy Lavalley Post-Tribune correspondent February 22, 2013 3:40PM
Keoki, held by Independent Cat Society volunteer coordinator Debbie Walsh, is featured during the "Open Your Heart" adoption fundraiser held at the Ogden Dunes Fire Department.| Michael Gard~For Sun-Times Media
The Independent Cat Society is at 4061 S. County Line Road, Westville. For more on the society, go to www.catsociety.org, or call 785-4936.
Updated: March 25, 2013 6:37AM
Valentine’s Day was over, but these sweethearts were still after a little love.
There was Madison, mother of six, including three young ones who underwent successful eye surgery, and Trinka, whose first true love, ill with cancer and evicted from his home, hitchhiked to get her someplace safe where she’d be cared for.
That place was the Independent Cat Society, which, on Feb. 16 at the Ogden Dunes Fire Station, held its annual “Open Your Hearts” event, a fundraiser for the Westville no-kill shelter that also promoted adoption of the shelter’s cats.
The shelter has held the event for at least the past 10 or 15 years at the fire station, organizers said, though they didn’t have it last year because the station’s community room was being renovated.
“This is one of our many fundraisers. We have at least one a month,” said board member Gail Frieden, adding the society has about 230 cats up for adoption and is trying to raise money to build a new shelter.
The shelter fosters out kittens and older cats, as well as having adoption promotions each month and working with other shelters and rescue groups in the area.
“We do as much as we can with them. We try to do more and more with them each year,” Frieden said. “We have the same goal — rescues. It’s always about the rescues.”
“Open Your Hearts” let folks buy items and make cash donations for selected “sweetheart” cats. The winning cat got some catnip and the shelter got the proceeds.
April Nolan of Cedar Lake and Angela Keene of Highland staffed a booth for Trinka, dubbed “Trinkets for Trinka,” with vintage-themed jewelry Nolan made.
Nolan picked Trinka because she was moved by how Trinka arrived at the Independent Cat Society. “I liked her story.”
Likewise, Beth Hayden of LaPorte wore a “Team Madison” shirt that said, “Will you call me sweetheart?” and sold cloth bowls and Easter baskets she made for the fundraiser.
She selected Madison after meeting the cat.
“I had gone to the shelter to pick up a cat I was fostering and she was in the cage over,” Hayden said. “She’s very sweet and laid back.”