Comedy show raises funds for animal shelter
by Phil Ambroziak
Meadow Lake and area residents were howling with laughter when they attended the second annual Raise the Woof fundraiser at the Carpenter High School auditorium Oct. 10.
Serving as a fundraiser for the Meadow Lake and District Humane Society, the event featured the joke-telling talents of three professional stand-up comedians. While the total amount of money collected was still being tabulated at press time, more than 200 people came out in support of the local animal shelter.
“Raise the Woof is a stand-up comedy tour featuring comedians who perform across Canada and the United States to raise money and awareness for animal welfare organizations,” explained Meadow Lake and District Humane Society president Jillian Doucet. “Last year, it brought in $4,500, which was on par with our Fur Ball fundraiser.”
Money generated from last year’s show went toward the shelter’s ongoing efforts to establish an off-leash dog park east of the city. This year, the funds will be used to ensure the shelter is able to continue to provide the best care it can to its animals while they wait to be formally adopted.
“We are eager to get the dog park up and running, but are waiting on the city for the donated parcel of land to be prepared, as there is still some back filling to do,” Doucet continued. “We were hopeful for this year, but it is looking like it will be a project for next spring and summer. We are also very interested in developing a low-cost spay and neuter program to help combat the pet overpopulation issue in our city. There is definitely a need for such a program in Meadow Lake. The only way to reduce pet overpopulation is to address the root of the problem, which is the lack of spayed/neutered animals in our city. It is our hope, if we are able to develop this initiative, people who aren’t in a financial position to have their pets fixed will take advantage of an attainable and affordable spay/neuter program.”
As for the Raise the Woof show itself, this year’s event featured the comedy stylings of Sean Lecomber, Gabriel Rutledge and Marcus Ryan. The audience also had an opportunity to participate in a silent auction and enjoy drinks and desserts at the “Bow Wow Bistro.”
“The comedians chosen for the tour have been featured in the comedy festival circuits, Comedy Central and HBO,” Doucet said.
Comedian James Uloth, who performed at last year’s Raise the Woof in Meadow Lake, is also the producer and creator of the event.
“I’m very happy to be involved with the Meadow Lake and District Humane Society, and comedy and laughter are a great tool to fundraise and bring in the support the humane society needs to operate,” Uloth remarked. “I had the privilege last year of meeting a lot of the board members and volunteers. It was a great bunch of people who put in a tremendous amount of effort to make sure the animals in the region are having a good quality of life. The show was really fun as well, and it was great to see all the people who came out ready to laugh.”
In closing, both Uloth and Doucet said the event wouldn’t be the success it has proven to be if it weren’t for the volunteers who band together to make things happen.
“It takes many hands to pull an event like this together,” Doucet concluded.