The Animal Care Center of St. John will be hosting its 11th Wagapalooza on Saturday, May 21, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Winston Wells ball field in the heart of Cruz Bay.
This year for the first time Waga, as the event is popularly called, will feature a Wild West theme.
The colorful poster designed by graphic artist Cheryl Geller displays a hound dog complete in Wild West attire. He has the usual cowboy hat, scarf, and boots, but no pistols.
ACC volunteers and members of the board will also be featuring colorful western-style scarves so guests can identify them, ask questions, and, yes, donate money! Needless to say, every penny collected for the event will go directly to ACC to care for the shelter animals.
ACC has three major fundraisers throughout the year — Waga, No Fleas flea market, and a holiday gala — but Waga is the one that earns the most money for the island’s only humane organization. For example, in 2010, Waga netted $23,000.
While that may not seem an extraordinary sum in comparison to some of the other St. John fundraisers, each year the ACC crew of volunteers and board members tries to increase the amount gathered.
Admission to the event is free to all, so income depends on the sale of commercial space on the annual Waga T-shirt. The next major source of income is the registration fee for those owners and dogs participating in the various dog show categories. Other sources of income include sale of the T-shirts themselves, raffle tickets (there are already tons of wonderful raffle prizes pledged), food sales, and money donated during the event.
To date, there are nine categories of competition: Best old timer, Best costume, Best spot, Best tail, Best trick, Best puppy love, Best lap dog, Best look alike, and Best Cow Hound costume. Four notorious St. John residents will be judges this year and their names have not yet been announced.
The ACC Waga committee under the leadership of Shanna Dickerson is working on several new attractions which will be announced in the forthcoming weeks.
It’s already known that Jennifer Troisi’s prize-winning Top Dog team will be preparing the food and beverages for sale. That alone should attract anyone who’s enjoyed Troisi’s cooking at No Fleas, Please or at last year’s Waga.