Tickets for the unique Animal Masquerade Ball are selling fast, in support of local animal charity, Paws Hoofs and Claws.
On Saturday, November 11, the Overlander Hotel will be transformed for the event, which has been organised by two local women with a passion for pups.
Foster parents Aleace Cunningham (28) and Natalie Harrison (26) took on the project to give the charity a much needed injection of funds.
“We are both current foster carers and earlier this year we decided to sign up to be committee members, and that’s when the prospect of doing the first ever charity ball came about,” Natalie said.
“Hopefully it will take people into another world, with class and elegance, black and gold, and a mysterious vibe, with special entertainment to fit the theme.”
They emphasised there will be plenty of entertainment, and not just the musical kind.
“We want it to be a night remember, that will hopefully keep people engaged and having a really good time,” Aleace said.
In the four years each woman has lived in Mount Isa, Aleace and Natalie have fostered more than 20 dogs between the two of them; from small breeds like chihuahuas to great danes, staffies, and cattle dogs.
Right now Aleace has beautiful Marnie in her care, likely a shepherd-cross or ridgeback-cross, who is up for adoption.
Natalie has a red cattle dog called Reg in her care, who has a gorgeous smile and is also up for adoption.
Paws Hoofs and Claws is run entirely by a small group of volunteers, led by Sue Carson, who was last month named ‘Customer Service Hero’ in the community sector of Northern Outback Business Awards.
Every week, Sue rescues unclaimed animals from the local pound, at $450 per dog and $280 per cat, with no discounts from Mount Isa City Council.
She then gets to work profiling each animal on the charity’s Facebook page, successfully re-homing them with loving humans, and boasting an impressively low drop out rate.
“The homes they go to are amazing,” Natalie said.
“When we have to say goodbye, we definitely shed a few tears.”
Perhaps foster parents like them are the real heroes, especially when they have their own permanent pets to consider.
“It’s really great for developing social skills. I’ve had foster dogs ever since I got my girl, Ava. And Natalie has Donnie, a Boston Terrier who gets along with everyone,” Natalie said.
The volunteer pair’s financial goal is to raise $15,000 from ticket sales and donations.
Local support has been helpful, they said, particularly with numerous fancy masks on display at McCarthy’s and Pharmacy First.
“They both have a huge range of masquerade masks which they’ve ordered specially for the event. It’s really nice to see the community get behind us like that,” Aleace said.
Just a handful of Animal Masquerade Ball tickets remain, so get in quick before they sell out. Visit www.andiimihayevents.com/events