Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Vince Fedoroff

HELPING THE ANIMALS – Debbie Howe, Dianne Anderson, Kyrn Evans, Tyler Doll, Kari Unrau and Richard Wagner, left-right, are seen Tuesday afternoon at the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter. Howe received $1,514 from the group.

Humane society ‘overwhelmed’ by citizens’ help

A local troupe of philanthropists raised $1,514 for the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter through an appetizer and dessert sale last month.

By Gabrielle Plonka on January 8, 2020

A local troupe of philanthropists raised $1,514 for the Mae Bachur Animal Shelter through an appetizer and dessert sale last month.

“The nice part about the people of this town is when you get going on something like this, they do really, really care,” Kyrn Evans told the Star Tuesday.

When the shelter was threatened with closure in November 2019 due to mounting debts and unpaid veterinary bills, the Humane Society Yukon’s financial woes were widely reported.

When Evans heard about the shelter’s problems, she enlisted a crew of similarly concerned friends to plan the fundraiser.

“I was terrified we would lose something that is so valuable,” Evans said.

Tyler Doll of G-P Distributing, a local foodservice wholesaler, offered Evans frozen appetizers and desserts at-cost to sell, with all profits going toward the shelter.

An order form compiling G-P’s top-selling items was compiled by the company’s marketing co-ordinator, Jenna Gingras.

Evans’ team spent three weeks selling the food items via social media and door-to-door.

They spent the final fundraising weekend of Dec. 22 totalling their sales and preparing the orders for pick-up.

Evans said the support was overwhelming. She estimates more than 600 food items were sold, to a profit of $1,083.

Additional cash donations were made from many who couldn’t order for dietary or preferential reasons, raising an additional $431.

She thought the reason for the fundraiser’s success was due, in part, to filling the need for easy meal options over the Christmas season after last fall’s sudden closure of M&M Meat Shops at the Chilkoot Centre.

Evans and her team presented the cheque for $1,514 to the shelter Tuesday afternoon.

She hopes the fundraiser might inspire other Yukoners to put in time for their community.

“I’m a mom of one 12-year-old boy, working three jobs, and I was able to put this together and put a team together and do it,” Evans said.

“I’m calling on Yukoners to put in that time for your favourite society that needs help. It’s amazing what you can do when you put a team together – you can do it.”

Evans worked on the fundraiser alongside Diane Anderson, Richard Wagner, Joy, Kari Unrau, Zach Unrau and Leanne Bucy.

Deborah Howe, the humane society’s president, said the board was “completely overwhelmed” by the hard work of Evans and her team.

“It was fantastic,” Howe said. “She put a lot of effort in a very short period of time, at Christmastime to boot … we’re so grateful.”

Howe said the funds raised will go directly toward animal upkeep. She noted the Tlingit Street shelter’s operational cost is approximately $48 per animal, per day.

Howe is part of the new society board installed on Dec. 23. She told the Star the new board is both optimistic and ambitious about the 22-year-old facility’s future.

“We would like to make the shelter self-sufficient, with donations of course, but a self-sufficient operating business that moves from the red into the black,” Howe said.

“The community support here for the humane society is probably unprecedented … we want to give back to the community and make sure they have a shelter that is operating and administered in a cost-effective way.”

The board has set a goal of one year to bring the finances back into the black, Howe said.

“It (the shelter) will not be closing under our watch –– that is absolutely for sure,” she said.

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