To Our Fellow Community Members:
While Branford Compassion Club Feline Rescue & Adoption Center began the year making plans for our biggest fundraiser of the year in October, Animal Awareness Day … COVID-19 came along and everyone’s world changed. We do hope you and your family and friends are all staying safe & healthy!
Though we had to cancel other events and fundraisers planned for spring and early summer, we continued to hope that Animal Awareness Day would still happen in the fall. For many years this fun day on the Branford Town Green included live music, children’s activities, food trucks, live animals, live animal educational demonstrations, a huge bake sale, and booths featuring a variety of area animal care and rescue groups, and business vendors.
The highlight of the day was the Blessing of the Animals, the annual nod to the Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, large and small. An eclectic array of pets always made their way to the Green to be blessed by local clergy from several denominations.
Unfortunately the Board of Directors only recently made the difficult decision to cancel the event. This was such a heartbreaking thing to do – it is our BIGGEST event of the year and brings together so many people in our community on the Branford Town Green to celebrate the lives of the animals who share our world. We kept hoping we could still have the event but a decision had to be made soon since so much planning has to be done in advance and there is still a great deal of uncertainty about how things will shake down in the fall with the pandemic.
However, we’ve come up with some ideas to have the event virtually with some online fundraisers! The Blessing of the Animals (which is what the day centers around) will be held as a drive-through event at the North Branford Congregational Church on October 4th. The celebration for 2020 has been renamed “Animal Awareness Month” and other things are planned during the month such as an online silent auction, a pet photo contest, a Yankee Candle sale online, to name a few.
To make all this possible, we need the financial assistance of the community. There are varying levels of sponsorship, as noted on the attached form, ranging from $5,000 for presenting sponsor to $100 for bronze sponsor. You can pay by mail, making your check (sorry, no credit cards) payable to Branford Compassion Club, and mailing it to Chris Gagne, c/o Branford Compassion Club, 2037 Foxon Road, North Branford, CT 06471.
The Branford Compassion Club, celebrating its 23rd anniversary this year, is a privately funded nonprofit organization founded in 1997 to raise awareness about the importance of spay-neutering felines, to aid in the adoption of homeless cats and care for those deemed unadoptable in area feral colonies. These feral cats are trapped, neutered and released into the perpetual daily care of BCC volunteers. The shelter, which opened in 2011, has found forever homes for more than 2,400 cats, while BCC has adopted out several thousand more before opening the Feline Rescue & Adoption Center. Though the shelter had to close to the public in March, we are continuing to do our best to rescue, care for, and find homes for the many homeless cats and kittens that pass through our doors. It has been a very challenging year for us and the entire country but we have to believe we will all get through it!
Christina Gagne, Event Chairperson