The Humane Association of Central New York will host its fourth annual Silent Auction and Drop-a-Thon from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Oct. 1. The event allows people to drop off goods at the no-kill shelter on Taft Road in Liverpool; members of the community are also invited inside for an open house, where they can take part in a silent auction and check out the shelter’s many pets for adoption.
“It’s the perfect day to come see all of our animals,” said Bethann Kistner, fundraising chair for the event. “We have a lot of cats, a ton of kittens, we have some dog and we’ll be getting some puppies. We also have three ferrets and two birds.”
Kistner ended up on the board of directors after the first Drop-a-Thon.
“I do marketing and communications for a living,” she said. “I called them and I said, ‘I think I can head your fundraising.’ And then I joined the board.”
The silent auction includes $13,000 worth of items; Kistner said she expected that figure to climb to $15,000 by Saturday.
“We have everything you could imagine,” she said, “from restaurant gift cards from every restaurant under the sun, Disney park hopper passes, a Keurig coffee machine with all the accessories, a signed photo of John Travolta, and the majority of it is from this area.”
The Drop-A-Thon, meanwhile, invites members of the community to bring supplies to the shelter – items like cat and kitten food, dog and puppy food, blankets and comforters, office supplies, cleaning supplies, laundry detergent and more.
“You’d be amazed how much laundry detergent they go through,” Kistner said. “They do probably 20 loads a day.”
In fact, with the help of a local donor, the Humane Association will be purchasing a commercial washer; the donor will be matching $1 for every $2 donated during the Oct. 1 event up to $10,000 for the big purchase.
The Drop-A-Thon, Kistner said, is a heartening event.
“It’s very successful,” she said. “People are so generous. The C-NS football team comes and brings food and litter and towels and comforters. They just back up a van and start unloading. We have a constantly from 10 to 4. It’s thrilling.”
In addition to the Drop-A-Thon, the Humane Association hosts what it calls the “Biggest Bake Sale Ever” every year at ShoppingTown Mall.
“We sell about $12,000 worth of baked goods,” Kistner said. “Every year, people bring in all of these baked goods, and I think, ‘There is just no way we’re going to sell all of these.’ And we always sell out. We do quite nicely.”
But the majority of the funding for the shelter comes from the community.
“We’re always struggling,” Kistner admitted. “We have no government funding. We get no money from the state or the county, and we never have more than three months’ funding, so every little bit we get counts. Those $10 checks or $20 checks we get, those add up. Those are what keep us going. We’re very thankful to have such a supportive community. We try to take in as many animals as we can, and we’ll continue to do so as long as we can.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.