Poster design by LV Creative
Dust off those leather pants and get ready for one of the biggest parties of the year on St. John while supporting one of the most worthy non-profit organizations on the island.
The St. John Animal Care Center is hosting its annual Gala on Saturday evening, January 18, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Estate Chocolate Hole East home of Joanne and Glen Hall, located at 166 Croton Road.
This year’s theme is “Party Like a Rock Star” with guests asked to don their best rock star duds for the soiree. While there will be prizes for the best costume, gala-goers who can’t find their black leather vests and ripped jeans are welcome to wear island fancy attire.
The night will feature DJ music by Adonis Morten and the crowd will even have the chance to get in on the fun with Karaoke action. There will also be exciting raffle prizes and a silent auction for the chance to win local boat trips, hotel stays and more.
Guests will also enjoy delicious appetizers prepared by some of the best island chefs and an open bar. Parking is available along the neighborhood road or attendees can park at the Westin Villas road and take advantage of shuttle service to the party.
Gala tickets are $100 in advance, $125 at the door, and are available at Connections East and West, Chelsea Drug Store, St. John Hardware and the ACC Shelter on the library road in Cruz Bay. Tickets are also available online at www.stjacc.org.
While the evening is sure to be a night of fabulous food, fantastic music and much revelry, the real reason for the gala is to raise much needed funds for the island’s sole animal welfare organization.
The ACC runs the only no-kill shelter in the U.S. or British Virgin Islands and is often filled to capcity, and more. Currently there are about 15 dogs and 35 cats at the shelter waiting for their forever homes.
Faced with ongoing costs ranging from veterinary bills to keeping the roughly 30 cat feeding stations across the island stocked, the ACC gets little help from the government. With its scant government funding, the organization relies on fundraisers and donations to keep its doors open, explained ACC Shelter Manager Ryan Moore.
“We have lots of costs including the cat food we need for the 30 feeding stations across the island,” said Moore. “Vet bills get pretty expensive and we need money for food for the dogs and getting dogs to the states for off-island adoption.”
Funds raised at the gala will also go to pay for the bare-bones ACC staff which keeps the shelter functioning, Moore added.
“We rely on our fundraisers to help us cover the costs of running the shelter and the every day workings of an animal rescue,” said Moore.
The ACC is able to oversee the care of all abandoned and abused animals on the island thanks to its three main fundraisers each year. In addition to its annual membership drive, the group hosts an annual whacky island dog show, Wagapalooza; a no fleas, please Flea Market; and the winter Gala.
Without the community’s support at these annual fundraisers, the St. John ACC would have a very difficult time keeping the territory’s only no-kill shelter open.
The group has found much success recently with its off-island adoption program. While the program — which places dogs and cats in stateside homes thanks to donations and even volunteer chaperones — has been ongoing for several years, the past few months have seen its popularity skyrocket, Moore explained.
“We’ve had about seven to 10 dogs in the last two months who have been adopted by off-island families,” said the ACC shelter manager. “The program seems to really be doing well and I think that has a lot to do with our online presence. Since we’re on a really small, transient island, it helps that we can cater to the 50 states without having to be there.”
“Our Facebook page is really good and has helped us get the word out about off-island adoptions and the dogs and cats we have,” said Moore.
The ACC does accept donations year-round and members can join for a year for anywhere from $100 to $5,000 or more.
For more information about donating to the St. John ACC, call the shelter at 774-1625 or check out the website www.stjacc.org.
Keep an eye out for the ACC Gala poster, created by Lindsey Vann of LV Creative which features shelter rescue dog Morrison sporting his best rock star look. And purchase those Gala tickets at locations across the island or at the ACC shelter.
Tickets to the gala also make great gifts, ACC board member Dr. Elaine Campbell added.
“Gala tickets make wonderful holiday gifts for your friends even if you don’t plan to attend yourself,” said Campbell.