After the last chocolate covered strawberry was eaten the final notes of Jimi Hendrix’s “Kiss the Sky” died down, the Animal Care Center’s Christmas for the Animals was deemed a smashing success.
The annual holiday party is one of the main fundraisers for the ACC, which cares for the island’s feral cat and dog populations. This year’s event was hosted on Saturday, December 12, at the beautiful Tre Vista villa in Great Cruz Bay and garnered more than $15,000 for the non-profit organization.
Proudly sporting tie-dye T-shirts, bell bottoms and long flowy dresses, the crowd fully embraced the party’s Swinging 60s theme. Party-goers enjoyed food and drinks from some of the island’s most eminent chefs, caterers, restaurants and purveyors while raising much-needed funds for the ACC, explained the group’s secretary B.J. Harris.
“It was so much fun,” said Harris. “We had probably 130 people and everyone dressed up in hippie garb. There were peace symbols everywhere and the food was fabulous.”
“We raised in excess of $15,000,” Harris said. “My personal goal was $15,000, but we were going to be happy with whatever we raised in today’s economy. We were just delighted with the crowd and with the amount of money that we raised.”
In addition to overseeing the island’s feral cat feeding and spay program, the ACC also runs a no-kill shelter in Cruz Bay, the cost of which mounts quickly, Harris explained.
“We really count on the support of the community to meet our budgetary needs,” she said. “We only get a tenth of what we need from the government. So this will really help us continue the important work that we do.”
A live band, fronted by Preston Elliot, kept the crowd on its feet and brought back memories for some guests.
“The dancing was amazing,” said Harris. “There were people out on the dance floor on Saturday night who never dance. I think people really enjoyed the Jimi Hendrix and Beatles tunes so much they had to get out there and dance.”
The group is already planning for next year’s annual fundraiser and is accepting new theme ideas, Harris added.
“Anyone out there who has an idea for next year’s theme should contact us because we want to get started right away,” she said. “It’s going to be tough to beat this year’s Christmas for the Animals, but we’re going to try.”
The group always accepts donations and often needs volunteers. For more information on the ACC or to donate or volunteer call 774-1625.