Holiday pop-up store to benefit shelter

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Good Shepherd Humane Society is getting in the holiday spirit.

The animal shelter will host its first annual Holiday Extravaganza Pop-up Store from noon to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at 4 States Event Center at 2100 E. Van Buren in Eureka Springs. Along with the holiday items for sale, there will be face painting, refreshments and a doggie kissing booth at the event. Janet Chupp, manager of the Doggie Thrift Stores, said the shelter has been selling holiday items at its annual Doggie Style fundraiser for quite some time.

"We typically had a Christmas room, and our merchandise outgrew that," Chupp said. "So we decided to make it separate events this year and try it and see if it works."

Board member Donna Fontanello said the pop-up store will have every holiday item you can imagine. There will be items for every holiday, she said, including Easter and Valentine's Day. She added that there will be a bridal booth at the event, too.

"I think it's a good way to show what we have to offer. It's kind of an extension of the thrift stores," Fontanello said. "There's new stuff...lots of fun items you probably won't see anywhere. It'll bring back some memories, because there are some older items, some antiques."

She continued, "I think people are going to enjoy that, seeing things they don't see at other events or stores. We were trying to set it up like this to have these items available before the holidays."

Good Shepherd board of directors president Troy Johnson said the event will help the thrift shops unload the holiday merchandise that has collected over the years.

"We do have two stores, and the amount of holiday merchandise we've been gathering is mind-boggling," Johnson said. "It's going to be a really awesome pop-up store for one day and one day only."

Chupp said she's excited about the doggie kissing booth. Her rat terrier Oreo, she said, will be the main kisser.

"He loves to kiss, so he's going to be there," Chupp said. "We'll also have a poodle. He's a very lovable young man, too, so we're going to have him as an alternate."

Board vice president Jay Fusaro pointed out that the event is also a way for the community to support the animal shelter.

"If you don't have time to come to the thrift stores, this will be a good opportunity for them," Fusaro said.

It's these end-of-the-year events, Johnson said, that help the shelter make it through the winter. He said these fundraisers are necessary for the shelter to operate during wintertime.

"They're really vital for us. Supporting this is a great way to support Good Shepherd," Johnson said.

Chupp agreed.

"Typically with the weather, Eureka shuts down in the winter...not as much as it used to, but it still does," Chupp said. "The income from the stores dwindles, and we try to compensate for that through the winter months by doing this."

Fusaro said the thrift stores contribute 60 percent of the shelter's revenue. The other 40 percent, he said, comes from fundraisers like the Holiday Extravaganza and grants. For those who want to help the shelter, Johnson said a wish list is posted on the shelter's website at www.goodshepherd-hs.org. He said the shelter really needs wet cat food, among other items.

"The wish list is updated seasonally to reflect the items we need the most," Johnson said. "That would be an awesome way for people to help."

The people who donate to the shelter and come to its fundraisers, Chupp said, are invaluable to the shelter.

"It means the world to us. That's what we're here for, is the animals," she said.

Fusaro agreed, saying the shelter's main goal is to take care of the animals in it.

"We get to really speak for the animals that can't speak for themselves," Fusaro said. "That's why we do this. The money that comes in goes to taking care of the animals and improving the shelter."

The shelter's other mission, Johnson added, is to educate the public on how important it is to spay and neuter their animals.

"We offer low-income spay and neuter clinics. We offer low-income rabies clinics to really reach out to all the citizens of Carroll County," Johnson said. "It really speaks to our mission that we educate the public as well."

Fusaro reiterated how important volunteer help is to the shelter. Without volunteers, he said, the thrift stores and the shelter would not be as successful as they are. He encouraged anyone interested in volunteering to do so.

"If you have a love for animals, come share the love," Fusaro said.

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