Not PC Players plans to turn laughs into cash for Nuzzles & Co.
For many people, nothing makes life better than laughter. For others, animals are the secret of happiness. So, the Not PC Players and Nuzzles & Co. decided to host a fundraiser that will give the best of both worlds.
On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the Not PC Players, the local improvisational comedy troupe, will give a fundraising performance for Nuzzles & Co., a nonprofit formerly known as Friends of Animals Utah, that, according to it’s mission, protects animals by "providing a loving, nurturing place for them to get healthy and learn positive behaviors" so they can be adopted into loving families.
The event will be held at O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The laughs begin at 8 p.m. Admission is $15.
"We hope to raise a lot of money for these poor little helpless animals that have no homes in Park City," said Katrina Kmak, who along with John Burdick, Tom Shannon, Nicole Marcks and Nate Sears, founded the Not PC Players earlier this year.
"We found dogs have a good sense of humor and are more our demographic," Burdick said with a laugh. "That’s the reason why we picked Nuzzles & Co. It felt like a good fit."
Shannon said the Not PC Players have been thinking about doing something like this for a while.
"A couple of friends of mine mentioned doing some fundraisers and I thought it was a great idea for a good cause," he said.
Marcks said the fundraiser is a great way for the troupe to give back to the community.
"We feel like we’re getting more ensconced with the community and it seemed to mesh well that we would do something with Nuzzles & Co.," she said. "This is something that we have to do, because we’re in a relationship with the community and it seems natural to do something to bolster the people who you live with, play with and play for.
"Besides, animals just bring everyone together, especially in this town," she said. "I mean we are ‘Bark’ City, right? Animals are members of our families."
Kathleen Toth, board president of Nuzzles & Co., is delighted the Not PC Players selected her nonprofit for the benefit.
"They called us because they wanted to support our work," she said. "We are so grateful because this is the best kind of fundraiser."
Money will be raised throughout the night with drawings and other items that will be offered for purchase, Toth said.
The main programs Nuzzles & Co. offer include Purple Paw, dog training, cat socialization, community education and its senior citizen programs.
The Purple Paw program started in 2012 and involves Nuzzles & Co. to providing a safe haven for pets of owners who are victims of domestic violence.
"In many cases, women and some children who are victims are afraid to leave a beloved pet behind because they are afraid the abuser will hurt or do worse to their animals," Toth said. "Recent studies show that 52 percent of women will not leave a domestic abuse situation if they cannot take their pet.
"Peace House and surrounding [domestic violence] shelters in Salt Lake City aren’t set up to take in pets," she said. "We’re the only nonprofit in Utah that will shelter a pet in these circumstances for as long as it takes. There has been an increase in demand and our board of directors voted to meet it."
The dog training and cat socialization are long-standing programs.
"Many people will go to a breeder because they know what they are going to get, but there are plenty of good animals that are in shelters that need to go to good homes," Toth said. "We want to provide animals to these people. We want to provide dogs and cats that have been socialized and trained."
These programs help Nuzzles & Co. staff find animals that will fit well with the people and families who are looking for pets.
"We know which of our animals are active and which ones get along with other pets," Toth said.
Every dog that is adopted out has some basic behavior and obedience training by Nuzzles & Co.’s volunteers.
"Sometimes we rescue dogs that have issues and have been abused," Toth explained. "We have rehabilitation programs for them. Our on-staff trainers will devise individualized programs for them."
The same thing goes for the cats.
"The cats we rescue have the same issues the dogs have," Toth said. "Sometimes we get litters who are feral or born on the street or have been shut down or abused.
"They need to learn how to get along with other people and with other cats," she said. "So, we slowly introduce them to other people and to other cats. We test them with dogs."
The more social the cats become, the more able they are to get along with others and the more adoptable they become, according to Toth.
"Sometimes there are cats that just can’t get a long with others, so we put them our working-cat program," she said.
This program is designed for cats that don’t want to live in a home, so some of those cats are taken to live on a farm to become mousers.
"That’s just an example of what the working-cat program entails," Toth said.
The community education program involves Nuzzles & Co. volunteers giving presentations in Summit County schools about dog safety and animal care and for the seniors for seniors program the nonprofit places older cats with the elderly in care, and retirement facilities.
"We also continue to work with Beehive Senior Care in Salt Lake City and take our bottle-fed kittens to them so they can feed them," Toth said. "They provide love and nourishment that these kittens need."
In addition, Nuzzles & Co. provides life-saving surgeries, including spaying and neutering, on all the animals they rescue, according to Toth.
"Last year we saved 844 animals and this year, we’re set to exceed 1,000 by years end," she said. "We’re thrilled by that."
The Not PC Players will perform a fundraising night of comedy improv on Wednesday, Oct. 28, at O.P. Rockwell, 268 Main St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. The laughs begin at 8 p.m. Admission is $15. Proceeds will benefit Nuzzles & Co.
Richard Pohl painted a mural of McPolin Barn between ‘skiing and living’