What's a canine to do with a trip for two to the ski slopes of Sun Peaks, a pair of concert tickets, a wine gift basket, automotive tools, or a limited edition print from retired hockey legend Richard Brodeur?
Believe it or not, items like these will go a long way towards ensuring that more homeless and abandoned dogs in Langley will receive the training necessary to ensure they find permanent and loving new homes, said Sean Baker, manager of the Patti Dale Animal Shelter.
The fifth annual Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) gala, called Furry Tail Endings, is coming up on Saturday, Nov. 3, and donations for the silent and live auction items have been a little lighter than recent years, explained Baker.
Moving into the home stretch in organizing of this annual fundraiser, event coordinators are asking for help.
Typically, organizers collect upwards of 200 items - of varying cost - that generate about $35,000 of the $60,000 raised at each year's gala event.
While admittedly, most of the donations normally come in during the last few weeks before the gala, Baker said he doesn't want to leave anything to chance. This year, the pace of giving has been a little slower, and he wanted to get word out of the need.
Often, people think they have to donate animal-oriented items to the cause, while others assume only high-ticket items are welcome.
But quite the contrary, Baker said. He's hoping to see an infusion of popular gift items with a value ranging between $50 and $100.
"We're not assuming that all people are walking in with $500 to spend," he said, "not that we're going to turn down larger ticket donations, too."
Day-to-day useful household items such as toaster ovens, electronics, tools, and jewelry consistently garner close to full value. Likewise, sports memorabilia is always hugely coveted. Gift certificates also attract a lot of bids.
Items with various price points are important, Baker elaborated, noting that unique experiences such as trips, events, or retreats have also been popular and valuable.
That said, he said there is a ski excursion already up for grabs, and Birthplace of B.C. has donated #1 of only five limited edition autographed prints valued at more than $1,000.
"This has enough appeal_ we should be able to get that for this really Canadian kind of scene, and that would be amazing," Baker said.
"All of these are donated items, so 100 per cent goes to where it needs to go," said the shelter manager.
Money from this year's event will provide ongoing program support, such as training for dogs, spay and neuter for cats, and special medical care for shelter animals in need, as well helping build the LAPS capital fund for a new community education centre that will be used to provide education to the public, and offer training for dogs and volunteers.
A team of eight has been working since March to prepare for the fifth annual Furry Tail Endings gala. The event is nearly sold out with more than 400 of the 450 tickets already sold.
Tickets are $125 each and also available at the shelter, at 26220 56th Ave. in Aldergrove.
To donate to the auction, people can also drop items off at the shelter, or call 604-857-5055 to arrange for pickup.