Humane society prepares for big fundraiser

I love February. It is the month we celebrate our wedding anniversary, my birthday and the birthday of our great-grandson Brody. It is also the month of the Shawano County Humane Society’s annual banquet.

The fundraising banquet will be held on Feb. 17. The cost is $35 per person if registered by Wednesday. Late registration fee is $40. The social hour begins at 5:30 p.m.; a perfect time to visit and buy tickets for the raffles and games. The tenderloin tips and broasted chicken dinner will be served at 7 p.m.

Society board member Carolyn Zuhse commented: “It is our main fundraiser for the year. I remember back in the late ’90s, we had a theme for each year’s banquet. When we started building the present shelter, the theme was, ‘We Have Only Just Begun.’ We have the event at The Gathering every year. They are always so accommodating and welcoming.”

Board member Jill Birr commented, “It is absolutely wonderful that approximately 200 people from the area attend and show their support for our local humane society.”

Birr has enjoyed serving as the master of ceremonies for the past five years. She added: “It is with the support of the community that our shelter is able to find forever homes for so many cats and dogs.”

Judge J.R. Habeck generally entertains us with a few jokes as only he can tell them. He will also give the invocation.

Putting on a banquet of this size takes a lot of work and would not be successful without the help of many volunteers. Four of those volunteers who have been involved organizing the annual event since 1997 are banquet chairperson Carolyn Zuhse, Patti Fletcher, Jody Harr and Chris Verbrigghe. This year, newly appointed board members Sarah Magee and Jackie Pische have joined the banquet committee. The staff is always a great help, too.

Many local businesses are very generous and donate items and certificates. Their names will be published in the society’s next newsletter. They will also receive well-deserved recognition the night of the banquet.

Zuhse smiled and commented: “We do our best to make it a fun night for our guests. Every year we try to add a new game. This year we will have a 50/50 raffle, jewelry table, a silent auction, the Kennel Klub, Perkin’s Pies, red, white and blue basket raffles, Plinko, the famous Puppy Piddle and a Wheel of Fortune prize wheel.

Board treasurer John Seidel remarked: “It’s a night I always look forward to. People have a good time playing the games and dropping their tickets into the raffle buckets. People know it’s for a good cause and they are generous with their support.”

My favorite is the jewelry table. I must admit, I am fairly lucky and have won numerous pieces of beautiful jewelry. I can remember one year while seated at the city’s table my fellow elected officials moaned and commented, “It’s not your ticket again, is it?” I ignored their comments, smiling broadly, as I adorned myself with rings, bracelets and earrings. Of course, I buy my share of tickets knowing it’s for a good cause.

Other great prizes this year include: a big screen television, Packer bench, small freezer, a bear bench, Packer tickets, a drone and pictures. There are also some beautiful wood carvings done by Dave Bartels; an eagle, bear, tree face to name a few.

Society president Dustin Martzke joked: “I remember back in the mid-’90s when I worked with Jill Birr at Ace Hardware. We both went to the banquet and the first prize I won was a curling iron! Obviously, I had no use for one, so I gave it to her. I was hoping she would win a drill or saw.” Martzke added, “The banquet has really grown over the years; the community support is amazing.”

My hubby appreciates the comfortableness of the evening. Dress includes everything from business casual to blue jeans and sweatshirts. The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. The night is filled with great conversation, laughter and fun.

Shelter director Robin Hogan commented: “I always see familiar faces at the banquet. Many of them have adopted a pet from the shelter. It is nice to meet new friends of the shelter too.”

See you there!

A shout out to readers in Gillett, welcome aboard. Thank you for your kind comments.

Trivia question: Can you name the 16 attorneys practicing in Shawano in 1991? (Answer on Page A7.)

Clothesline Conversation Answer: Daniel Aschenbrener, Steven Aschenbrener, Jack Bartholomew, John Black, Frederic Eberlein, Arnold Greenhill, James Habeck, Alan Lamia, Charles Lomas, Thomas Martell, Steven Menard, Timothy Schmid, Jack Schumacher, David Winter, Galen Winter and J. Edison Woods.

Lorna Marquardt is a former Shawano mayor.