“What could be a better way to have fun while supporting our furry friends?” asks Dale Kohlsmith of Signarama, one of the sponsors for the Heroes and Villains Masquerade Ball. The ball supports the Ingham County Animal Shelter Fund. The event hosts to 100-250 guests each year and raises about $15,000. All proceeds go to the shelter. It provides life-saving surgeries as well as programs that provide low-cost spay and neutering procedures.
With the event less than one week away, Penelope Tsernoglou, a volunteer event coordinator, is putting the word out. Because it comes on Saturday, Oct. 28, a masquerade theme is timely. The ball will be hosted at the University Club of MSU in Lansing. Tickets are on sale for $25 but if you buy them at the door, the price increases to $35.
Sponsors such as Singarama and Soldan’s Pet Supplies are crucial in making this event possible, Tsernoglou said. Nikki Soldan, from Soldan’s Pet Supplies, said the shelter “hosts adoption events at a few of our locations & we work closely with them throughout the year. This ‘paw-some’ event was a no -brainer. Ingham County Animal Shelter has a wonderful outreach team and does a great job at bringing our community together to support them.” Soldan’s has been a sponsor for two years. Soldan said the shelter does “so much for our community and help raise awareness that adoption is a good option.”
Dale Kohlsmith of Signarama has been involved with the ball for three years. He said, “The marketing value is unique, but more importantly, the cause is important to all of my staff. We pick and choose what causes to support and this one is always unanimous.”
Kate Turner, office manager for the shelter, is looking forward to seeing the donations help the animals she oversees. “Part of the masquerade ball donations are going to help fund our new facility. Specifically, there will be new surgery suites with all of the necessary equipment. We are currently conducting surgical procedures out of an old garage bay.”
Turner said she hopes this event will also shed some light on all the animals that are at the shelter. Almost all of the shelter’s outside dog pavilions are occupied and the cat playrooms are full. Last year, county residents decided to tax themselves to pay for a new shelter over the next six years that will be built not far from the current location in Mason.
Everyone is welcome to enter the multiple categories of the costume contest. Emily Emerson-Rich, the Mistress of Hell, Michigan, will emcee the event. There will also be a silent auction with prizes from sponsor companies such as Creative Wellness, Zap Zone fun center, and the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus.