COEUR d’ALENE — A frenzy of giving ensued as friends of the Kootenai Humane Society raised their people paws and pledged generous portions of their pocketbooks Wednesday evening.
They gave thousands to support the nonprofit, which, among many other services, helps animals find forever homes. The philanthropic gestures of those who participated in the bidding will help the humane society as it continues its capital campaign to build itself a forever home that will be able to serve even more furry friends in need.
“I’m amazed that the bidding went so well,” Lola Hagadone said as the Raise your Paw event came to a close. “How fortunate can we be that so many care about animals?”
The sold-out benefit was held at Duane and Lola Hagadone’s estate in Casco Bay. Guests were transported on Lake Coeur d’Alene Cruise boats to explore the colorful gardens, take in the deep greens of the rolling lawns and enjoy the soothing sights and sounds of the tranquil water features as they nibbled hors d'oeuvres and mingled with friends.
With ticket sales and the auction, $300,000 was raised to go toward the $6.5 million new shelter project, expected to break ground later this year in Hayden on the west side of Atlas Road north of Hayden Avenue. As of Wednesday afternoon, the funding was about 60 percent to the goal.
Ashley Craig, an employee of Hagadone Marine, said she and Hagadone Marine Group President Craig Brosenne presented Mr. Hagadone with the idea of hosting the event at his estate and they were thrilled with his response.
"Mr. Hagadone only hosts two charities a year, and this year he chose one, and it’s the humane society!” she joyfully shared. “My passion is animals because I want to be a voice for the voiceless. They need help, and if they could speak up, they would. There are a lot of animals in need that are neglected that aren’t socialized and don’t have homes. I know a kennel isn’t the best place for them, it’s not a couch, but it’s better than being on the streets. Plus, the humane society does so much for our community.”
Event guest Leslie Tunnell of Spirit Lake said for the Hagadones to open up their property in support of the humane society was “emotionally impactful.”
“Mr. Hagadone’s heart is big and in the right place,” she said. “Personally, I could never thank him enough for stepping forward.”
Tunnell lives in an area where people tend to abandon cats. She live traps them, pays to have them neutered or spayed and makes sure they are released somewhere safe. She does this to help the feline population in her neighborhood and to take some of the burden off the humane society, which is often at capacity.
She said she was shocked to learn on the ride to the estate that 500 people would be in attendance at the KHS benefit.
“I’m blown away,” she said. “Mr. Hagadone does a lot for his community."
To help the humane society reach its goal, tax-deductible donations can be sent to KHS at P.O. Box 1005, Hayden, ID 83835. Designate "new shelter capital campaign" with donations.