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Pets, parties and philanthropy

Heroes and villains collide at pet benefit


Raising an animal can be difficult, particularly if health costs are above one’s means. The Ingham County Animal Shelter Fund might just be the solution for that though, and the fourth annual Ingham County Animal Shelter Heroes and Villains Masquerade Ball Fundraiser is just the way to keep it going strong.

“The party’s existence is a fun way for people who support the animal shelter to go out and have a fun evening with a lot of activities that you may not normally be able to find,” said Event Chair Penelope Tsernoglou.

This year, the party features various activities like a live DJ set, a dessert bar, a cash bar and even some relaxing treatments: a henna tattoo booth and massage therapy.

All proceeds from the festivities will be put toward the fund and money for many of the animal programs the animal shelter offers. This includes life-saving surgeries and treatments, vaccination clinics, low-cost spay/neuter treatments and much more.

“We do a lot of medical treatments on the animals that we wouldn’t be able to afford without raising money. We run our community outreach center which is totally run by the donations,” said John Dinon. “Even our animal cruelty investigator position is funded by raised money.”

Dinon is the Director of Ingham County Animal Control. He said raising money through public fundraisers is importnat because it can benefit hundreds, if not thousands, of animals.

Based on previous attendance, the goal for this year’s Halloween party is to raise $10,000. Besides the ticket sales, a silent auction that was donated by local vendors will also be part of the festivities. During the event planning process, Ingham County Animal Shelter Fund’s committee reached out to a number of local businesses who had worked with animal shelters before and encouraged them to get involved in the cause.

Tsernoglou said she was impressed by the outpouring of support from local businesses.

“Thanks to all of our sponsors. It’s a great way for them to get their names out as being helpful in the community,” she said.

Dinon and Tsernoglou hope the partygoers will enjoy dressing up like their favorite superhero figures as well as participating the custom contest. Although animals aren’t allowed at the party itself, pet-themed costumes are welcome.

“One of the coolest things is the costume contest,” Dinon said. “If you come, you can enter the contest, the other thing is everybody who comes to the event gets to vote on the contest.”

Jeff Johnson, the co-owner of the Lansing bakery Bake N’ Cakes, said he loves to support Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter.

This year, they are one of the dessert providers and will be serving Halloween-themed baked goods paired with coffee, such as their well-loved, signature cinnamon rolls, sugar cookies and pecan rolls.

“It’s people-to-people contact,” Johnson said. “It’s fun to be out there and interacting with people. It’s a great social event.”

“Heroes and Villains Masquerade Ball” Saturday, Oct. 28 8 p.m. 18kknd University Club of Michigan State University lansinghalloweenparty.com.


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