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Cape shelter fundraiser set for Saturday

By Staff | May 1, 2015

Try your hand at a poker tournament this weekend to help raise funds for the Gulf Coast Humane Society’s fundraising campaign to build a facility in Cape Coral.

“All in for the Animals” Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament will be held Saturday, May 2, at the Italian American Club, 4725 Vincennes Blvd.

“It’s our first poker tournament. We would love to do this on an annual basis,” Gulf Coast Humane Society Executive Director Jennifer Galloway said. “It’s a great group of people that are huge supporters to the Gulf Coast Humane Society. Cape Coral has been so embracing and so excited.”

The Gulf Coast Humane Society was established in 1947 and has been located on Martin Luther King Boulevard since the mid ’70s. The facility has approximately 160 dogs, 35 cats and more than 20 kittens in the free roaming kitten room. The kittens are only about a pound to a pound and a half and will not be up for adoption until they are more than two pounds because that is when they can be spayed or neutered.

Registration for the tournament will begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and the game will begin at 6:30 p.m. Registration is $75 per player, which includes a hot buffet dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Spectators also can join in on the festivities for $30 a person with some games as well.

The tournament will run until about 11 p.m.

Organizer Bob Schnell said he hopes to have 70 players participate in the tournament. As of Thursday morning, he said they were halfway there.

Baskets, gift cards and a 50/50 raffle will be held during the tournament.

A grand prize of $1,000 will be given to the winner of the Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament. A second and third place prize will also be given varying in values from $300 to $500.

“We are trying to do a little fundraising and raise awareness for the potential of having the Gulf Coast Humane Society in Cape Coral,” Schnell said. “We are trying to raise money and support them. It’s strictly a fundraiser for the organization.”

Schnell said he wanted to hold the tournament because he loves animals, especially dogs.

“It’s one of those causes you feel good about and want to help out,” he said.

Schnell said right now with the Gulf Coast Humane Society being located in Fort Myers, it makes for quite a long drive for someone living in Cape Coral to take care of an animal or find an animal.

Galloway said the more she spoke with people the more she understood the need of having Gulf Coast Humane Society in Cape Coral.

“Cape Coral wants to stay in Cape Coral,” she said.

In addition to being a shelter, Galloway said they also offer a low cost clinic for the community. By adding the humane society to Cape Coral, she said it will bring jobs to the community, as well as affordable veterinary care.

“I think it’s really important to have all those different resources available to them in Cape Coral,” she said.

The clinic was added to the shelter to subsidize the loss it was experiencing with every adoption.

A piece of property is already being sought for the Cape Coral location. Galloway said they are looking to build by Sun Splash Family Waterpark because it is a city owned site.

“It’s a great location for folks to find us,” she said, adding that it is not located in a residential area.

Galloway said they will provide a proposal to the Cape Coral City Council at its Monday, May 11, meeting, which will help the organization take the next step in building a facility in Cape Coral. She said once they receive the “we agree,” they can take off.

“We are hoping once we meet with the city and get the official yea, we can pinpoint a date,” she said of when the facility would open in Cape Coral.

The fundraising goal for the new facility is $2 million.

“We want to make a presence in Cape Coral and we appreciate the support,” she said of the monthly Yappy Hour at Cape Harbour and two fundraising events Wicked Dolphin has held.

Galloway said they are working with LAI Design, which is saving them a huge amount of money in design and development costs.

“It’s exciting because we get to build an innovative shelter,” Galloway said, with free roaming cat rooms, enrichment areas for dogs and more comfortable space for people to walk through.

She said she wants to create a space that does not leave people feeling bad after they leave the shelter. Galloway said she wants to provide a more comfortable environment for the animals to transition before finding another home.

For more information about the tournament, call Schnell at (239) 560-1225. For more information about Gulf Coast Humane Society, visit www.gulfcoasthumanesociety.org or call (239) 332-0364.