About 50 people congregated on the lush green grass in front of city hall Wednesday afternoon as Acting Mayor Larry Samson declared May to be SPCA month in Campbell River.
SPCA supporters treated Samson to a round of applause as he not only proclaimed May as Go Loonie for the SPCA month but pledged to contribute to the fundraiser to bring back the SPCA.
“City council is proud to support the SPCA Go Loonie fundraiser,” Samson said. “City council has pledged to match all funds raised up to a maximum of $10,000.”
Veterinarian Helen Kwong said the city better be ready to step up and fulfill its commitment because the fundraiser has already raised $9,000 as of Wednesday – day one of the 31-day campaign.
“This tells you how much community support we have for the SPCA,” Kwong said. “Our Go Loonie for the SPCA will be a wake up call for the city. We want action and we want it now. This is what Campbell River wants and by goodness, this is what Campbell River will get.”
SPCA supporter Carol Chapman, who has volunteered her time to be the face of the fundraiser, told the crowd gathered at city hall she has confidence in the community.
“We’re going to build a new shelter to house the SPCA and we’re going to raise the money,” Chapman said. “We need to make this fundraiser huge and put this town on the map as the town that could and will raise money for a shelter for the SPCA to do their business. It’s people like you guys who will make this dream a reality. It’s going to be hard work and it’s going to be long term but we’re going to do it.”
Samson also acknowledged the community’s loyalty to and support for the SPCA.
“The residents of Campbell River continue to show time and time again when things are not going the way they want, they are willing to step up and face the challenge,” he said. “Your presence today shows how animal welfare in the city is important to you.”
Samson said council recognizes that there will be long-term financial challenges in respect to the SPCA.
The goal of the Go Loonie fundraiser is to help subsidize the SPCA, which was losing $10,000 per year at its Campbell River branch.
The campaign is set up as a challenge. Companies and individuals are encouraged to challenge other businesses or their neighbours to see who can raise the most money through creative fundraisers such as bake sales, book sales, garage sales, auctions, dog washing, or coffee sales.
SPCA supporter Krista Hack plans to shave her head June 1 in exchange for donations to the SPCA.
Her locks will be donated to an organization which makes wigs for cancer patients.
Discovery Trekking Outfitters is vying to win a small business contest and donate the entire $5,000 in winnings to the SPCA. The link to vote is: www.loveourlocalbusiness.com
Campbell River Avon is selling beauty kits for $29.99, and $5 from each purchase will go towards the SPCA. Additionally, for each person who joins Curves’ complete diet during the month of May, $10 will be donated to the SPCA.
Kwong said all of the dollars raised in the community will stay in the community.
She’s confident that the SPCA will return and all the monies will go towards the Campbell River branch.
An account to drop off donations is now open at Scotia Bank. All donations must be made by May 31.