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Purr-fect!: AWS Valentine’s fundraiser moves online

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | Feb 5, 2021

This 9" bottle with stopper created by Joy Bridy is one of many items available in the online auction to support the Animal Welfare Society. Courtesy photo

CHARLES TOWN — Those who support the Jefferson County Animal Welfare Society by attending their annual “Purr”fect Valentine Dinner and Auction can continue do so this year, although in a different fashion.

For the past 11 years, the AWS has held their fundraiser, which included a dinner and auction. This year, the auction will be held online, to follow COVID-19 safety guidelines.

The Valentine Virtual Auction includes multiple items that have been donated by community members and businesses. They can be found via a link on the society’s Facebook page and website.

There are approximately 60 items displayed on the auction site, where bidding can begin on Feb. 6. Bids can be added through the close of the auction on Feb. 13.

Items fall into various categories, including pottery and glass; antiques and art; jewelry and watches; and gift certificates. Gift certificates include a tubing outing for four provided by River & Trails; a spa package from Effleurage Spa; and a collection of grocery store gift cards.

Pottery from Joy Bridy, Blenko glass and Belleek candlesticks are among the items in the pottery and glass category, while bids can also be placed for rounds of golf at both Locust Hill and Cress Creek. A variety of artwork is available including paintings, prints and metalwork signage.

Desiree Baker, AWS board member and fundraising coordinator, said the items are available online for perusal and that bidding will begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday. The auction will conclude at 9 p.m. on Feb. 13.

While tickets for previous years’ events have come at a set price for the fundraising dinner, the auction is free for all to enter. Those wishing to support AWS, without bidding, may donate the $55 “ticket price” that would have been charged for the in-person dinner.

“Those who wish can donate the $55 they would normally have paid to receive a ticket. This would help recoup some of the loss from not having an in-person event,” Baker said, mentioning the dinner and another annual fundraiser held in October are the two main events that help cover operational costs at the facility.

According to shelter director Maria Simmons, the Animal Welfare Society has served the Jefferson County community since 1952. Located on Old Leetown Pike since 1985, the shelter primarily houses cats and dogs.

“We have space for 12 dogs and about 40 cats,” Simmons said.

Those who wish to adopt an animal can visit the AWS website to view photos and complete an application.

“We are currently doing appointment-only visits due to COVID,” Simmons said, indicating the hours of operation during which appointment may be scheduled are Wednesdays through Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For more information, visit www.awsjc.org.