For the Dogs — ACC Rakes in $25,000 at 10th Annual Wagapalooza

Best Lap Dog Maggie, shows off her winning form, sitting atop owner Earl Clark’s lap.

Waga 2010 King – Jack
Waga 2010 Queen – Asa

Best Old Timer – Pepper, owner Susan Mann
Best Puppy Love – Cora, owner Bradford
Best Costume – Asa, owner Colleen McAlister
Best Jumper – Jack, owners Derrick and Catherine
Best Spots – Chesney, owner Dulcey
Best Lap Dop – Maggie, owner Earl Clark
Best Tail – Moon Molly, owner Jeffery McCord
Best Look Alike – Chole, owner Alicia Duplisey
Best Trick – Jack, owners Derrick and Catherine

Cruz Bay went to the dogs last week.

Dogs of all ages, shapes and sizes — and some decked out in elaborate costumes — took over the Winston Wells ball field on Saturday, May 22, for the 10th Annual Wagapalooza.

The whacky island dog show drew a crowd of about 100 people to the ball field to watch the pups  face off in a number of categories. While each dog couldn’t take home a coveted blue ribbon, all island dogs won out thanks to the $25,000 the event raised for the St. John Animal Care Center.

Through the sale of raffle tickets, registration fees and food and drink sales and donations, the St. John ACC almost met its $30,000 goal, explained Waga co-chair Monica Munro.


“We’re still counting, but we think we raised around $25,000,” she said. “Our goal is always higher and my personal goal this year was $30,000, but we’re very happy with what we raised. Everything was wonderful.”


The island’s only animal center, ACC operates a no-kill shelter and cares for numerous dogs and cats across the island. The group has an operating budget of about $150,000, and receives only about $15,000 from the government.

Wagapalooza is one of the group’s main fundraisers for the year and has proven to be a popular event with hotly contested categories from Best Old Timer, won by Susan Mann’s dog Pepper, to Best Look Alike, which went to Chloe and her owner Alicia Duplisey.

“We don’t charge admission, so we don’t have exact numbers, but I think our attendance was up,” said Munro. “We probably had the same number of dogs in the show, but we had tons of raffle prizes this year. Everyone was so great about donating prizes we probably had about 110 raffle prizes.”

After handing out blue ribbons for category winners, ACC officials named Jack, owned by Derrick and Catherine, Waga 2010 King and Asa, owned by Colleen McAlister, this year’s Waga Queen.

While Munro was busy working during Waga, she found time to enjoy the mouth-watering treats available at Top Dog consession.

“My favorite part of the night was really Jennifer Triosi’s food at Top Dog,” said Munro. “Everything was made from scratch and she had really good food for vegeterians.”

The event could not have been so successful without the numerous volunteers, Munro added.

“We had so many wonderful volunteers,” she said. “Even people who hadn’t signed up, just showed and helped out.”

The one night of fun takes almost full year worth of work and organizers are already looking ahead to next year.

“We had another successful Wagapalooza and we’ll absolutely ahve another one next year,” said Munro. “We’re already looking at dates and tentatively we’re looking at May 21 next year. We have to start planning next year’s event the day Waga ends.”

Munro has already signed up to help out next year and said it was the animals that keeps her dedicated to the St. John ACC.

“I love the animals,” said the proud owner of two dogs and five cats. “Seeing some of these ansimals who have been neglected and dropped off at the shelter and then watching them find new homes and people who love them — that makes it all worth it.”

The next major St. John ACC fund raiser will be the group’s annual No Fleas Please, Flea Market in October.  Then in January, St. John animal lovers will gather once again for the annual Christmas for the Animals, which the group is already planning.

While Munro wouldn’t reveal the location of next year’s holiday party, “it’s going to be at one of teh new and most beautiful villas on the island,” she said.

The St. John ACC is always in need of donations to keep its shelter doors open and its spay and neuter programs operational. For more information about the ACC or to make a donation to the group, call 774-1625.