The fundraiser is anticipated to occur again next year. Photo: Deb Penner

The fundraiser is anticipated to occur again next year. Photo: Deb Penner

Pet store raises $15K+ for Kootenay animal charities

Staff decided to hold fundraiser after they had to cancel their pet festival this fall

Blue Barn Pet (BBP) staff in Castlegar raised $15,579 for seven organizations during a fundraiser they held at their store during the month of September.

Staff decided to hold the fundraiser after they had to cancel their annual Pet Festival in the Barking Lot event this fall due to the COVID-19 crisis.

”The festival was something that would always raise money for charity and we wanted to do something that would still raise considerable funds for the organizations that had attended it,” said BBP owner Kris Koop.

“Since this ended up being a month-long fundraiser, it ended up generating more money than the festival has in the past.”

Kootenay Animal Assistance Program, Heart Dog Rescue, Little Oasis Equine, St. John Foundation, Community Harvest Food Bank, Castlegar Lions Club and the West Kootenay Kennel Club each received $2225.

Food bank coordinator Deb McIntosh said the funds will help them deliver more hampers and groceries to those in need.

“BBP has been extremely generous to the food bank over the years,” said McIntosh.

“These funds will help us out a lot and we really appreciate the fact that they considered all people in the community as being valued, needed and wanted.”

Hundreds of people either donated money or their BPP loyalty points to the fundraiser. BBP matched every dollar that was raised.

“People liked the fact that we were giving them the option to donate their points,” said Koop.

“They also weren’t losing anything and a lot of them didn’t even realize that they had so many points on their account.”

Over 10 million points were donated during the fundraiser, which equates to over half of the money raised.

Koop hopes the fundraiser will stick around permanently now after its huge success.

“When the pet festival comes back, we will be combining it with the fundraiser,” said Koop.

BPP social media and events coordinator Deb Penner also helped to promote and organize the fundraiser.

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