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Humane Society holds celebrity auction

Rihanna, Bryan Adams, others lend their autographs for the animals

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Steph Crosier

Winnipeg Humane Society bowls signed by celebrities are up for auction. Left: Courtney :Leiman stewardship and marketing office with WHS, and Chris Boult Director of Development at WHS

Are you are a major fan of a celebrity? Is your pet?

The Winnipeg Humane Society (WHS) is having an online celebrity-signed pet bowl auction to raise money for the shelter. The auction opened online March 14 and will run until March 23.

Some of the top names in music, television, and movies, like Rihanna, Martin Sheen, Glenn Close, Rob Schneider, Canadian rock legend Bryan Adams, and many more have signed 20 different ceramic pet bowls.

This is the first time the shelter has done anything like this, said Christine Boult, director of development for the WHS. She said there is no concrete fundraising goal.

"We’re sort of leaving it wide open, we didn’t want to market it just locally because we feel there’s opportunity internationally there, based on who signed the bowls," Boult said. 

Because it was the first time, contacting the celebrities was a new experience for Courtney Leiman, stewardship and marketing manager, and Felise Coutu, in development support.
Leiman said contacting the celebrities was the hardest part.

Leiman said about 50% of the bowls were signed while various celebs were in town performing, but getting the other 50% involved some leg work.

"I sent out 300 letters in June, then I wasn’t getting a good response," Leiman said, "So I did some more research and got a more accurate database, then I sent out another 300. So I sent out about 600 letters to all these celebrities.

"The response from the second wave of letters was (positive)," Leiman said.

Leiman said the WHS had to purchase time on a celebrity contact information database. It was only a few cents a day, and it provided the WHS with the proper contact information, whether it was the celebrities themselves or their managers.

From there, Leiman and Coutu mailed out the raw, unpainted ceramic bowls, crafted by Brush Fire Contemporary Ceramic Studio (1700 Corydon Ave.) for the celebs to sign. The famous folks then mailed the bowls back to the WHS, which sent them back to Brush Fire Studios to be painted and baked.

If you miss out on a ceramic bowl there are two famous family members you can take home instead. The shelter has named an orange tabby cat George Takei, and a Labrador Retriever mix Bryan Adams. Both are up for adoption.

To bid on the items, visit winnipeghumanesocietydonor.ca/netcommunity/celebrity-auction

To adopt George Takei the cat and Bryan Adams the dog, visit the WHS’ website at winnipeghumanesociety.ca

 

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