Nearly 800 animal lovers, and their canine companions alike, attended the BISSELL Blocktail Party at Mangiamo! on Wednesday, June 13. A total of $187,000 was raised at the event, surpassing the fundraising goal of $150,000 that was set for its seventh year. Funds from the party benefited the new BISSELL Pet Foundation, which administered the proceeds to West Michigan animal welfare organizations in the form of BISSELL Blocktail™ Grants, along with a $10,000 gift that was allocated to “Party Partners” earlier in the year to thank them for their good work in the community.
“The West Michigan community never fails to stand behind a great cause, and this event shows that we believe pets are important, too,” said Cathy Bissell, event co-chair and founder of the BISSELL Pet Foundation. “The community really pulled together to make this our best year yet. We are overwhelmed with appreciation from the outpouring of support. Every year, local sponsors and donors help to make this a unique event, and this year was no different. We’re so thankful for everyone’s generosity.”
Any group in the Greater Grand Rapids area was welcome to apply for a BISSELL Blocktail Grant. On June 27, the BISSELL Blocktail Party Committee met to review the 11 grant applications received from local animal welfare organizations. The committee recognized the importance of all of the applicants’ needs and requests, making it a challenging review process.
On July 3, the Foundation awarded the following organizations with BISSELL Blocktail Grants:
Kent County Animal Shelter received $41,000 to support their adoption efforts through the upcoming ASPCA and Rachel Ray $100K Challenge that takes place from August to October 2012. In addition, the grant money will be used to help with spay/neuter costs for stray pets that are being reclaimed by their owners.
Community Spay Neuter Initiative Partnership
(C-SNIP) received $30,000 to fund programs aimed at subsidizing sterilization surgeries for low-income families and local rescue groups.
Vicky’s Pet Connection was awarded $27,000 to initiate a community microchip and id tag program and help support programs that provide care and treatment to “at-risk” animals that are rescued from local shelters.
Humane Society of West Michigan received $21,600 to fund monthly adoption promotions, including subsidies to support low cost adoption of senior pets, and to support their life-saving efforts with animal transfer and microchipping.
Carol’s Ferals was granted $12,000 to support their Trap–Neuter–Return program for feral cat populations and to provide appropriate equipment needed to care for their adoptable cats.
Crash’s Landing and Big Sid’s Sanctuary received $10,000 to support their Humane Education and Adoption Programs and to provide food and supplies for cats in their care.
Mackenzie’s Foundation received $10,000 to purchase needed equipment for a planned on-site veterinary clinic.
Safe Haven Humane Society was awarded $5,000 to create a dog training program for their adopters and to support a free spay/neuter program for female cats and their litters.
Reuben’s Room Cat Rescue received $4,000 to provide care and treatment for cats in their care, with funds targeted to supporting the special needs of senior cats.
Bellwether Harbor was given $2,050 in needed funding to help advance their microchipping program.
MidAmerica Border Collie Rescue received $1,000 to purchase a requested microchip kit and additional microchips for adoptable pets in their care.
The ten “Party Partners” who received a $1,000 donation prior to the event were C-SNIP, Kent County Animal Shelter, Mackenzie’s Animal Sanctuary, Vicky’s Pet Connection, Humane Society of West Michigan, Carol’s Ferals, Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary, Focus on Ferals, Reuben’s Room and Safe Haven Humane Society.
BISSELL Blocktail Party: Blocktail Grants
Press Unleashed: BISSELL Blocktail Party Grants Announced
Tommy Allen: BISSELL Blocktail Party
MLive: How BISSELL Blocktail Party Split Its Proceeds to Save More Pets