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14th Annual Starlight Auction to benefit ARC scheduled for Nov. 29

By Staff | Sep 29, 2008

The 14th Annual Starlight Auction to benefit orphaned and abandoned pets of the North Fort Myers Animal Refuge Center will be held over Thanksgiving weekend at the posh Sanibel Harbour Resort and Spa.

It’s a perfect day to plan ahead for some holiday weekend fun with visiting relatives and friends, said ARC officials.

“We did the event last year on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend,” said Betty Hughes, ARC board member and treasurer. “Last year a lot of people did bring out-of-town guests and family and many came. You can only do so much left over turkey.”

The resort is offering special room rates for those who want to help the cause.

“It’s one of the four-star resorts in our area that has a first class cuisine and accommodations,” said Hughes. One special is a $140 room rate specifically for the event. Call for details.

Celebrity hostess FOX-4 Amy Wegmann will again emcee event, which starts at 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29. The theme for the evening is “A Star Spangled Night Marches On!” where you can enjoy dinner, drinks and holiday shopping.

Wegmann was a lot of fun when she hosted last year’s event, said Hughes. “She really added a level of excitement to the live auction.”

Items for live auction will feature highly desirable artwork by Nancy Colby, Darryl Pottorf and Butler Steltemeir; wood carvings by Luke Andrews; “bling” by Cedar Chest Fine Jewelry along with safari trips to South Africa; gift certificates; and trips to local and far away resorts.

“There will be a lot of artwork and resort packages, along with jewelry,” said Hughes.

Many other silent and live auction items will be available as well. ARC is currently accepting additional auction donations and sponsorships.

The safari trips are photographic safaris, said Hughes.

“The company is Zulu Nyala, and one is a 14-day trip where you go on a photographic safari every day,” she said.

It’s the biggest fund raiser for the year for the local shelter. Last year the auction raised over $121,000 for the more than 350 cats and 60 dogs at the North Fort Myers-based center.

Tickets are $70 per person, which includes admission, a buffet dinner and cocktail. To RSVP, contact Betty Hughes at (239) 841-0810 or by e-mail at: “mailto:bettyhughes@comcast.net”>bettyhughes@comcast.net.

Incorporated in 1988, Animal Refuge Center is a not-for-profit animal welfare society, dedicated to caring for all homeless animals brought to its care at its 22-acre sanctuary in North Fort Myers. The sanctuary houses a Welcome Center, 12 feline facilities, 29 canine lodges and is home to more than 350 cats and 60 dogs.

“We have seen a huge increase of pets displaced by foreclosures and job losses this year,” said Hughes of the importance of this year’s event.

For more information, visit www.AnimalRefuge.com, or call 731-3535. ARC is located at 8011 Old Bayshore Rd., by the Lee Civic Center, and has over 400 animals available for adoption.