Dogs lolled in the shade on Cruz Bay Beach on Saturday afternoon, July 28, unaware the people running around the shoreline in a frenzy, cheering each other on, were doing it all for the animals.
The Seventh Annual Bar Wars, which pits teams from local bars and restaurants against each other in an attempt to test their bartending and service skills, raised $3,780 for the St. John Animal Care Center.
The Mahonians from Maho Bay Restaurant walked away with the title at the Beach Bar-sponsored event, with Caribbean Saloon from St. Thomas coming in a close second.
But the competition wasn’t entirely fair — teams bribed the judges in order to advance. At this event, however, the bribes were for a good cause. All bribe money, along with proceeds from t-shirt sales, went directly to the ACC, for which board member Jennifer Dale was grateful.
“Thank you to everyone who donated their time, effort and money to the Bar Wars 2007 fundraiser,” said Dale. “Special thanks to all the participating teams, Bellows, Heineken, The Buzz radio and all those willing t-shirt buyers. A special thank you to Freebird Creations at Wharfside Village for their useful donation of brand new backpacks to each of the winning team members, and to Every Ting at Gallows Point Resort for their spontaneous and generous donation of $500 to the ACC.”
The fun Bar Wars event helped shed light on the serious plight of the ACC, which desperately needs funding to continue operating, explained Dale.
“In addition to the costs of feeding and caring for all of these animals, the physical building requires constant maintenance, and non-profit organizations are not immune to utility bills,” she said. “Anyone who cares for a pet here can easily understand how expensive it can be to feed, care and shelter more than six dozen stray animals. Just the food bill each month at the shelter is over $3,000.”
The ACC relies heavily on fundraisers and donations to continue to provide a good home for the island’s stray animals, according to Dale.
“The ACC will continue to need donations,” she said. “We rely heavily on local and off-island private donations and the generous and loyal support from local businesses to keep things running. Some recent capital improvements, like the dog runs, are still stinging the account and the ACC desperately needs to get ahead if we are going to make strides
— fundraisers like Bar Wars really help.”
The ACC is currently housing 45 cats and 18 dogs at its shelter, all waiting to be adopted.
“They all desperately need homes,” said Dale. “The recently constructed dog runs that house the strays are overflowing and the dogs are all good-tempered, adorable pets. The cats and kittens are everywhere inside — each one cuter than the next, but so many you can’t count.”
In addition to wanting to be adopted, the pets at the shelter are short on toys, according to Dale. Anyone who wishes to donate should contact the ACC at 774-1625.