By Diane Urbani de la Paz
Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Mike Pace — cat lover, painter and Soulshaker — thought it would be fun to have a party for Peninsula Friends of Animals.
The nonprofit organization, founded in 2000, has two no-kill cat shelters and about 75 animals in its care.
But until now, PFOA has had fairly low-key fundraisers: sales of potholders and calendars, for the most part.
Soon Pace, guitar man in the Soulshakers band, got busy with Rockin' the Arts, the first-ever concert-art show-party to benefit PFOA.
Working with PFOA volunteer Kailyn Davis, he found a place to host it: The Landing mall, 115 E. Railroad Ave.
Rockin' the Arts, from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, features five musical acts, tribal-fusion dancer Merryn Welch, raffles, face painting and other kids' activities, and a silent auction, all with free admission.
The lineup goes like this:
-- 12:15 p.m.: Classic rock and blues with the Retro Guys.
-- 1 p.m.: Welch's first 15-minute dance.
-- 1:30 p.m.: Folk and Americana with Redwing.
-- 2:30 p.m.: Singer-songwriter Getta Rogers.
-- 3:30 p.m.: Another 15-minute performance by Welch.
-- 4 p.m.: Chesnut Junction, featuring multi-instrumentalist Ches Ferguson.
-- 5 p.m.: Rhythm and blues with the Soulshakers.
“There's a ton of entertainment,” said Pace, “and all that art to bid on,” including paintings, lithographs and more by local artists.
Those will be part of the silent auction, along with Seattle Mariners tickets, local wine and other gifts.
“It's free, but we're hoping people will bring pet food,” said Diane Lopez, a PFOA board member.
The organization maintains an emergency food bank for local pet owners who are having trouble making ends meet.
As important, though, is raising awareness about PFOA's Safe Haven and Barker House. Proceeds from the auction and raffles will go to the two sanctuaries, which house cats of all kinds.
Safe Haven found adoptive homes for 137 cats last year, Lopez said.
But Barker House, named for the late PFOA supporter Doris Barker, is for special-needs felines who cannot be adopted.
PFOA, as a no-kill organization, cares for these animals even if they have chronic illnesses such as diabetes. This can mean a steepening veterinary bill along with the costs of food and medication.
PFOA has a paid shelter manager, Nancy Campbell; a paid business manager, Sherry Gyovai; and about 100 volunteers, said Lopez.
“It's a business of compassion, but it's still a business,” she said.
“We don't receive any money at all from government sources.
“It's pretty amazing,” she added. “We're still going strong.”
For information about volunteering, donating pet food and supplies, and otherwise supporting PFOA, search for the organization's Facebook page or visit www.SafeHavenPFOA.org.
Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5062, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.