SPCA fundraiser cancelled

By Genevieve Helliwell

A masquerade and black tie gala dinner aimed to raise funds for the Tauranga SPCA has been cancelled due to low ticket sales.

A major renovation and extension project at the Tauranga SPCA facility is close to completion, however the dog accommodation area remains unfinished and funds are running low.

So the SPCA staff organised a gala night at Mills Reef Winery and Restaurant to raise funds and upgrade the living areas where the dogs are housed.

The dog accommodation area is the only area still not completed after months of work at the shelter.

Tauranga SPCA committee member Maree Brookes said she was extremely saddened to pull the plug on the event, which was due to be held on Friday.

"It was a very tough call and I'm absolutely gutted. A lot of work has gone into it and we've had some amazing support from fabulous people and a lot of people had shown their interest but unfortunately, with this being last-minute Tauranga, people just haven't bought tickets.''

"We were three days out and we had to confirm numbers because the chefs had to start work preparing . . . but we had to make the decision to pull the plug because we can't run this event at a loss. It's not just a dinner out, it's raising money for the animals.''

All of the ticketholders have been phoned and told the event is cancelled.

Ms Brookes said the SPCA would hold onto the items due to be auctioned off on the night and save them for the next fundraising event.

"We're going to have to put our thinking caps on and come up with something really different that hasn't been done before.''

"We will definitely have something in the New Year, we're just not sure what.''

The SPCA dogs will remain in the kennels while more money is raised.

"We're always fundraising one way or another,'' Ms Brookes said.

"It's not cheap to run the SPCA, our monthly costs are pretty high but what we'll have to do is try try reduce our running costs to make things work.''

- Bay of Plenty Times

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