Friday, November 13, 2009

ARC to host 15th Starlight Auction over Thanksgiving weekend

If you find yourself having cabin fever by Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, or want a unique experience in which to treat a guest, tickets are now available for the 15th ARC Starlight Auction.

The Animal Refuge Center (ARC) is a not-for-profit animal welfare society that has found a magical formula in hosting this fund-raiser over Thanksgiving weekend, both for that time and at it's steady location.

The event will be held on Saturday, Nov. 28 at the Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa. The five-star hotel also offers special room rates, which many take advantage of while enjoying the auction party.

"This event is our premiere event," said ARC Board President Lee Allor. "It is out number one fund-raiser for the year, and is a celebration of ARC's success."

He said it is an event not to be missed. "It has become part of our culture over that Holiday weekend. We have volunteers, veterinarians the public and patrons. Everyone is a part of this."

The theme this year is "Gone With The Whiskers" ala "Gone With The Wind," said ARC Board Treasurer Betty Hughes. "We vow at ARC to never go hungry again!" she added.

The auction is known for fabulous items, and over 200 have already been donated. "You check in 6 p.m. and go to the auction, and can begin bidding immediately for silent auction items and then there is a live auction. There is fine art from local artists, get away packages at resorts nationwide, and even a photographic safari adventure to South Africa. These are premiere items; we are getting spectacular donations."

Sanibel Harbour Resort & Spa is a long-standing location. "We've had it there 13 of our 15 years. It is 'location, location, location' - it is a five-star resort with professional service."

The resort is technically located in Fort Myers before you get over the Sanibel Bridge. "It is a five-star atmosphere right on the Gulf, the gateway to the island."

She said Sanibel Harbour also donated a fantastic package this year. Five nights, dinner for two on the Princess Yacht, dinner for two at the Tarpon House there and two spa packages.

"You can count on an evening filled with wonderful items to bid on, scrumptious food to dine on and an evening of fun spent with fellow animal lovers. Come out and celebrate ARC's achievements over the past year and meet some very special canine alumni," Hughes continued.

"Our guest master of ceremonies Amy Wegmann of Fox-4 News along with auctioneer Mike Joyce of Gulf Coast Coin and Jewelers will help create a magical evening. It is a geat way to break the monotony of a long holiday weekend - it's also a very unique experience to treat out-of-town guests to."

Incorporated in 1988, Animal Refuge Center is a not-for-profit animal welfare society, dedicated to caring for all homeless animals brought to its care at its 22-acre sanctuary in North Fort Myers. The sanctuary houses a Welcome Center, 12 feline facilities, 29 canine lodges and is home to more than over 400 cats and dogs.

And that doesn't include those who get adopted through ARC. "Proceeds benefit a variety activities at ARC. It benefits over 1,000 pets that pass through our door or sanctuary every year," she said.

While they are still accepting auction sponsors, right now the focus is on ticket sales. "It is normally a sold out affair at 300. You are going to want to secure your table seating early."

Tickets are $70 each.

The resort is offering a room rate special of $137.64 all inclusive. To get this rate, you must call direct at 800-767-7777 and say you are calling for room reservations at the special Animal Refuge Center rate.

Tickets can be purchased by calling Hughes at 239-841-0810 or by e-mail to

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