ESTEVAN - The Estevan Humane Society is inviting the community to socialize and have a fun night out, all while helping dozens of their furry residents on Boxing Day.
Shelter president Tayja Zimmerman said they were looking for another way to engage with the community and saw an opening with a Boxing Day cabaret, as it's been a few years since it's been put on by one of the local hockey teams.
"We thought we would try out a different kind of fundraiser. And we've seen how successful it was for them in the past. So we thought, why not? It's going to be a little different than most of our fundraisers. But it'll be nice to add a different group or a different demographic that might come to one of our fundraisers as opposed to some of the other ones that we have," Zimmerman said.
The cabaret will have DJ music, food and drinks. To ensure the event goes safe and smooth, the shelter will organize a testing station on-site for rapid COVID-19 antigen testing.
"We'll plan for the rules that are now in place, and if they change in the next month, we'll have to pivot," explained Zimmerman.
The Gym has offered to do all the testing needed for the event to meet the current health measures. They also will donate a portion of the sales for each rapid test that they do for a week prior to the event to the humane society.
Other than testing, Zimmerman said, everything else will just go in traditional cabaret format.
"It'll be a cabaret. It's time to get out and see people. There (probably) will be a lot of people home for Christmas, and you'll get to see people you don't normally get to see or haven't for the last two years because of what's going on," Zimmerman noted.
The money raised through the cabaret will help the Estevan's non-kill shelter with medical bills and daily expenses, as well as some capital projects.
"It will go toward spaying and neutering. And our fence needs to be done in the spring. So we're hoping to start slowly, putting some money away for that because that's not going to be cheap. And our dog kennels, we need to start looking at getting those redone, they're starting to wear out. It seems like there are never-ending projects that need to get replaced. So some money will go towards day-to-day operations like neutering. But we'll try to slowly start picking away at getting some of these capital-intensive projects," Zimmerman said.
She added that they have a never-ending influx of calls, but they were able to get some animals rehomed lately. With the October promo, they were able to find new homes for a lot of cats, which meant that they were able to accept some new ones they had on the waiting list
"It's been good, it's been a good flow of pets finding their forever homes and then us being allowed to bring in our wait-list cats that are waiting to get in," Zimmerman said.
The cabaret will be at the Wylie Mitchell Building on Dec. 26, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. They will go on sale later this week and will be available at The Gym, Soul Hideout, Henders Drugs and at the shelter while supplies last.
"Don't wait too long. We're hoping for a sellout. So if it sells out before the date, that means, unfortunately, we can't let any walk-ins or purchases at the door," Zimmerman said.
Capacity is limited to 800 people.