Fundraiser Draws $100k For New Humane Society Facility


A sold out crowd of animal lovers enjoyed the “Country Wine, Jazz, Cheese and Chocolate Festival” Saturday, June 5.

The festival was a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Central Arizona. The Lyon family, at La Cienega Ranch, hosted the event. Mark Lyon, winemaker for Sebastiani Vineyards in Sonoma, Calif., furnished the wines and was on hand to discuss the winemaking process.

Funds were raised through ticket sales and a raffle for a trip to a Sonoma resort and spa along with other special items.

A Valley donor gave a $40,000 challenge gift, asking attendees and the community to make a new shelter a reality.

That challenge generated an additional $42,000 in pledges from attendees. Total funds collected for the humane society is now more than $100,000.

Monies raised will be used to complete a critically needed new facility.

The current facility, an A-frame house built more than forty years ago, has housed the humane society since 1972. Although not intended for such services, the little house has allowed staff to provide compassionate care and shelter for thousands of dogs, cats and other animals.

In January 2009, ground was broke to build a new shelter. With the economic downturn, however, came a decrease in donations to finish construction.

With the reality of the economy, the task of raising the funds to complete the shelter has been daunting for staff.

In order to finish the project, the shelter’s board of directors formed an informal committee of community leaders to explore funding options.

“The board of directors is deeply grateful to the Lyon family and all of our very generous friends and supporters,” said Board Chair Bill Enlund. “The funds raised at the “Country Wine, Jazz, Cheese and Chocolate Festival,” will provide a tremendous boost to the effort and help make it possible to move this very important and much needed project forward.”

For more information on the Humane Society of Central Arizona, visit


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