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Residents and visitors are invited to head over to the Eastern Sierra Tri-County Fairgrounds this weekend to help with the final fundraising push for a new Inyo County Animal Shelter.
Just last week, Inyo County released a request for bids for the new shelter in Big Pine. Thus far, there have been three responses, ranging from $700,000 to $767,000 for the construction of the project, which will also require about $100,000 worth of site grading work.
To date, ICARE has raised between $750,000 and $770,000 for the new shelter.
â€śWe are $40,000 to $50,000 short,â€ť ICARE President Ted Schade said. â€śSo we need a lot of people to come eat spaghetti.â€ť
To help ICARE and Inyo County meet the financial goal for the new shelter project, the Bishop Lions Club and Bishop Rotary Clubs have teamed up to host this weekendâ€™s Raise the Roof â€“ A Cause for Paws Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser.
Schade explained that the ICARE Board of Directors, busy with other fundraising efforts and planning associated with the new shelter project, decided early this year to postpone its annual April fundraiser dinner. Schade said at the time that ICARE would bring the dinner back as a celebration of the completion of the shelter later in the year.
â€śOut of the blue, I got a call from Maggie Kingsbury, president of the Noon Rotary Club, and she said they were looking for a joint fundraiserâ€ť for the Lions and Rotary clubs.
The service clubs felt it would be appropriate to have a fundraiser dinner for ICARE while it works on the new shelter project.
In April, Deputy Public Works Director Jim Tatum presented three conceptual drawings of a new shelter that range in price from $450,000 to $725,000; each proposed facility would include 24 dog kennels and 24 cat cages.
Tatum said the proposed shelter would be cost-effective and could be built where the current shelter is located on County Road in Big Pine.
The plans include indoor/outdoor kennels for shelter dogs, an outdoor area where prospective adopters can â€śget to knowâ€ť the animals, a grooming and food prep station, euthanasia facilities and room to expand.
Schade said the plan is to have the new shelter constructed and ready for use by December of this year.
He added that ICAREâ€™s fundraising efforts have been a huge success, with donations coming in from all over the country. He also said that Inyo and Mono county residents have made generous contributions to the shelter fund.
The ICARE Board has pledged up to $96,000 for the project, Inyo County is planning to contribute $200,000 from the General Fund and $175,000 from an Animal Shelter Trust Fund created in the 1990s for donations to the shelter.
â€śOur existing shelter was built in the early â€™20s as the county debtors farm. Over the years its been used as storage before it became the shelter. Itâ€™s a very old building that was never designed to house animals or the staff we have working there,â€ť Schade said. â€śConditions are dismal at best.â€ť
The spaghetti feed will be held from 6-9 p.m. Saturday at the Tri-County Fairgrounds. The event will include a no-host bar, prizes and more. The cost is $12.
For more information, call Ken Lloyd of the Bishop Lions Club at (760) 873-4037.