It is one of my favorite nights of the year. An opportunity to leave behind the jeans and sweatshirts that are my daily rescue uniform. An evening spent glammed up with family and friends. A room filled with hundreds of passionate supporters of animal rescue. Auction For A Kaws.
For 9 years Keli Miller has been building momentum for an annual fundraiser aimed at increasing awareness and raising funds to support animals in need in the state of South Carolina. We hear rescue and think dogs and the occasional cat. And there are canines and felines galore. But there are also reptiles and hens and goats in wheelchairs and more. Auction For A Kaws brings animal rescuers of all species together for the night.
We live the stories every day, yet they still move us to tears that smear our mascara. The 7-month-old French bulldog whos birth defect means that every day of physical growth compounds his too small esophagus and is killing him. The fluffy dog who was so emaciated when he was found abandoned that his rescuers weren’t sure he could survive – now proudly strutting the runway. The weeks old kitten found in the middle of a road nestled in the body of her mother who had been hit by a car – thriving today because of dedicated volunteers who stepped in to be her mom. This is rescue.
On Saturday night, the faces of rescue looked a little different. They danced choreographed routines down a runway to their favorite song. They smiled and handed out flowers and Hershey kisses. They twirled and swirled and even shot bows and arrows. They were over the top and understated and everything in between.
Sipping wine in my blue cocktail dress, I was humbled to witness the testament of children who are already dedicating their time and efforts to animal rescue. From lemonade stands and bake sales to car washes, donation jars, and more these rescue rockstars raised more than $5,000 for animals in need!
I sit here on Tuesday evening writing this blog still wearing a smile on my face and a lip stain that has long outlived its promise of “16 hours of coverage”. My heart is full from an evening with my rescue framily. On Saturday night I gave more hugs, shared more laughs, enjoyed more stories and made more memories that will sustain me until next year’s event.
The work that we do every day in rescue is not easy. It is not pretty or glamorous. It is wrought with heartache and frustration. It delights you and devastates you every day. It is always worth it.
On this night to remember – March 2, 2019 – animal lovers raised more than $100,000 to support rescue efforts. That’s what I call Auction For A Kaws!
– Jen Reel