Casino games will raise money for Paws for Life Utah | ParkRecord.com

Casino games will raise money for Paws for Life Utah

July 15 fundraiser will be at Red Ledges

Paws for Life Utah wants people to take a chance on rescued pets.

The nonprofit will host its fifth annual Casino Night fundraiser from 6-10 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, at Red Ledges Clubhouse, 1851 E. Center St. in Heber. Tickets, which are tax deductible, are $125 each.

The evening will feature games, food, drinks and a silent auction, Executive Director Cathy Boruch said.

"The ticket gets you $1,000 in funny money, and with it, you can play poker, craps, roulette and blackjack," Boruch said. "If you run low on funds, you can spin a wheel for a chance to win more chips."

The ticket price also includes dinner, two beverages — beer and wine — and opportunities to win other prizes.

"In addition to the games, we will have a small silent auction, and one of the items you can bid for is to have your pets adorn our Paws for Life van," Boruch said.

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Other items will be baskets filled with pet-related items, such as a weekend getaway at St. Regis Deer Valley. Items also include gift certificates at local restaurants and spa treatments.

"We will have music by Frank Sinatra piped in that really sets the tone," Boruch said. "It's a really fun night."

The dress code is anything people want to wear.

"We have people who come in shorts and T-shirts to people who arrive in evening gowns and tuxedoes," Boruch said.

Registration is open and tickets can be purchased by visiting pflu.org, by calling 435-640-0752 or emailing Cathy@pflug.org.

"We would like everyone to register by July 10, so we can give the caterers a heads up," Boruch said.

Although Casino Night in a an enjoyable night out, Boruch said there will be reminders of why the fundraiser is important.

"During the night we will talk with everyone about what we do," she said.

Paws for Life Utah is a volunteer-based pet rescue nonprofit that works to see that no stray pets in shelters are euthanized.

"We rely on private donations and grants from organizations such as the PetCo Foundation, No-Kill Utah and Best Friends Animal Society to work for that goal," Boruch said. "Our mission is to, one day, see the United States become a no-kill nation."

Paws for Life works with Summit County Animal Control and Heber Valley Animal Shelter to ensure the animals in those two places find safe homes.

"We spay and neuter, immunize and micro-chip every animal we rescue locally," Boruch said.

The nonprofit rescues more than 1, 200 annually.

"Once we rescue the animals from our local shelters, we go and rescue animals from other shelters located throughout Utah and in the surrounding states where the animals are in danger of being euthanized," Boruch said. "Many times these animals are highly adoptable and the reasons why they aren't are because of minor medical issues such as allergies or skin conditions."

Paws for Life spends an average of $75,000 annually on medical, spaying and neutering procedures for animals.

"Those are, by far, our largest expenses," Boruch said. "The entire annual budget needed to run Paws for Life is about $200,000, when you include boarding, food and other services.

"We work with boarding facilities and fosters, and we have an extensive volunteer force who foster and transport the animals safely to us."

The adoption fees are deliberately low so people can easily afford to adopt the animals.

"We ask for $100 per dog, $40 for cats and $150 for puppies," Boruch said.

One of the biggest Paws for Life achievements was turning the Heber City Animal Shelter into a no-kill facility.

"We were recognized by Best Friends Animal Society in 2013, and we commemorated the no-kill status by pulling the gas chamber out of the Heber shelter and smashing it to pieces at the town park," Boruch said. "We wanted to make sure local residents knew we were no-klll."

To continue reaching similar landmark events, Paws for Life Utah will keep hosting Casino Night, and Boruch is thankful for the community's support.

"We have been very fortunate and found that people who have participated in Casino Night will come again and bring their friends," she said. "We have grown from our initial
75 people to a sellout of 130 people."

Boruch also wanted to thank the sponsors, including Red Ledges, Park City Intermountain Health Care; Karl Malone; Keeler & Underhill accounting firm; David P. Halsh, a financial advisor for at Wells Fargo; Silver Creek Animal Clinic; and Jennifer Mays who owns Select Design Interiors in Midway.

"Each year we get more sponsors who want to help and I'm so grateful to that," Boruch said. "We still have sponsorships available from $500 to $5,000."

Casino Night is Paws for Life Utah's biggest fundraiser of the year, and Boruch always looks forward to it.

"If you don't know how to play blackjack, craps or poker, the people running the tables will teach you," Boruch said. "This is an opportunity for you to learn. It's done in a fun, safe environment that is designed to help animals."

Paws for Life Utah's Casino Night fundraiser will be from 6-10 p.m. on Saturday, July 15, at Red Ledges Clubhouse, 1851 E. Center St. in Heber. Tickets, which are tax deductible, are $125. For information and tickets, visit pflu.org.