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Life and Arts

On the Town: Supporters ‘paws’ to raise money for animal shelter

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Kim Freed of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter was on hand at last week’s breakfast fundraiser to introduce supporters to Kojack, who is currently up for adoption.
(David Laurell)

While more than 200 supporters of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter, or VBAS, enjoyed a breakfast fundraiser called Pancakes for Paws last week, Mickey DePalo, who serves as captain of VFW Post 8310, where the event was held, addressed the gathering.

“This is really the right way to do a fundraiser,” DePalo said while lauding photographer Deborah Dodge and Christine Hatch of the Mortgage Group, who co-chaired the event.

Burbank Animal Shelter
Welcoming supporters of the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter to have Pancakes for Paws are co-chairs Christine Hatch, left, and Deborah Dodge.
(David Laurell)

“They got out there along with the folks from VBAS, beat the bushes with businesses and organizations to get great stuff for the raffle, and effectively used social media to get the word out that resulted in this great turnout,” DePalo added.

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Dodge, who served as Miss Burbank in 1993, went on to direct and produce the pageant and currently serves as the official photographer for Starlight Bowl events.

She, Hatch and shelter volunteers went into the event with the goal of upping the amount of funds raised at the breakfast fundraiser last year.

Burbank Animal Shelter
Mickey DePalo and Shelly Real of VFW Post 8310 donated both the venue and food for last week’s fundraiser to benefit the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter.
(David Laurell)

“This is the third time we have done this, and our goal is always to break our own record,” said Dodge, who later reported they did just that by raising $3,281.

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Among the notables who enjoyed a stack of pancakes while providing funds for vaccinations, surgeries, medicine, supplies, food and other items the shelter is always in need of were Burbank school board members Steve Frintner and Roberta Reynolds, Lee Wochner, chief executive of the Burbank-based web design, marketing and advertising agency Counterintuity, award-winning journalist Michelle Valles of NBC4 News and special guest Jimmy Weldon, who was celebrating his 96th birthday.

Weldon, who served with the 1270th Engineer Combat Battalion in Europe during World War II, went on to become a children’s television personality in the 1950s, appeared in many feature film roles and is best known for having provided the voice of Yakky Doodle in the Yogi Bear animated cartoon series.

Burbank Animal Shelter
Out for a morning of pancakes and to support the needs of the Burbank Animal Shelter were Burbank businessman Lee Wochner, left, and his son, Dietrich.
(David Laurell)

The Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter is an organization run 100% by volunteers whose mission is to provide medical, social, behavioral and financial care for animals at risk and eliminate animal homelessness in the Burbank community.

The group provides ongoing programs including dog and cat socialization for kittens, puppies and adult animals, exercise activities and foster care as well as the Pets for Patriots program and Seniors for Seniors, which encourages seniors to adopt mature pets.

For more information about becoming a VBAS member or to make a financial or in-kind donation, visit thevbas.org.

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