DeKalb County Snapshot

Art and wine help animal shelter

SYCAMORE – MaryAlice Drain of DeKalb and Terry Wellington of Rockford sat on a wooden bench in a corner of Blumen Gardens last Thursday night. As Take 5 filled the room with music, the pair took in the atmosphere.

“We’re just animal lovers,” Drain said. “We really wanted to support the shelter.”

A number of like-minded people joined them at the second annual DeKalb County Animal Welfare Shelter Wine Tasting and Art Show fundraiser. Besides the music, there was fine wine, original artwork, gift baskets and door prizes. All the profits benefited the shelter, which is celebrating its 40th year of operation.

Shelter director Roberta Shoaf said board member Gwen Laumer suggested the event last year.

“It was so successful and so much fun, we decided to do it again this year,” she said.

Last year’s event brought in about $4,000, but Shoaf said there was no set goal for this year’s fundraiser.

“Whatever we make,” she said with a smile. “Our goal is to have fun and rack in money for the animals.”

According to its website, the animal shelter, located at 16173 Baseline Road in Genoa, “helps dogs and cats that have no one else.” The shelter runs 365 days a year, including holidays, supporting 30 dogs and 90 cats. The shelter is always seeking volunteers as well as donations of money and goods. Anyone interested in contributing can call 815-784-5924.

At the fundraiser, local artists Margaret Goffinski, Deborah Ryan and Sue Lederer contributed 50 percent of their art sales to the cause.

After years of wood carving and papier-mache, Lederer decided to take up needle felting, which she’s been doing for about a year.

“It’s a different medium,” she said. “I couldn’t put it down (once I started). It’s just really fun.”

Although she does a variety of subjects, most of Lederer’s work involves animals, each of which she says has a story of its own to tell.

An animal lover herself, Lederer said all of her own pets are either strays or came from a shelter.

“I just think this is a really good cause,” she said, “They can’t speak for themselves.”

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