Southern Utah Ladies Society raises over $10,000 for local animal rescue team – St George News

ST. GEORGE- Last week, August 25, luxurious gift baskets spread across the tables of the Hilton Garden Inn’s convention halls, with some baskets displaying price estimates of $500 for valuable goods. Adults young and old laughed and entered the event wearing cat earrings and puppy shirts.

An event attendee looks at raffle gift baskets, St. George, Utah, August 25, 2022 | Photo by Truman Burgess, St. George News

By the end of the night, the Southern Utah Ladies Society, a two-year nonprofit, raised over $10,000 for the RSQ Animal Rescue Team.

Debra Heger, vice president and co-chair of the Southern Utah Ladies Society event, said she and others in her organization worked long hours to learn about the event and corporate donations.

“I can’t even tell you how many people I went to,” Heger said. “First, we asked sponsors for money. Then we went out and tried to get things to fill several gift baskets. It’s a lot of work, but it’s very rewarding. »

Heger said she respects RSQ Animal Rescue because of its dedication to helping animals in rural communities, like Hildale and Colorado City, where there are no large animal shelters.

“They have really sad cases in those areas,” Heger said. “They get a phone call, travel and bring the animal. They have a nice facility, so they provide medical care and adopt animals.

“A lot of these animals are the ones that people throw in the desert. People are doing horrible things to these animals, and (RSQ Animal Rescue Team) is here to pick up the pieces.

Event goers line up for their dinner, St. George, Utah, August 25, 2022 | Photo by Truman Burgess, St. George News

According to the RSQ Animal Rescue Team websitethe organization provides “a voice for the voiceless, improving the lives of animals in rural Utah communities”.

The association is run solely by volunteers and has no paid staff. The organization started in 2017 when founder Kelli Stokes saw animals in need of help in rural communities around St. George. RSQ donates pet food to families in need and provides “low-cost or free sterilization services when possible.”

RSQ rescues approximately 500 animals per year, specializing in the management of critical animal medical cases.

“We see incredible results when these animals are given a chance,” the website says.

Gift baskets for the raffle included items such as tickets to the Zion National Park Stargazing Guidebook, a one-year gun range membership, family tickets to the Tuacahn Amphitheater, Sky Mountain golf passes and bottled Utah wine.

The adults-only event sold out all 157 seats for $35 each. One ticket included admission to the event, bingo cards, and a meal of cranberry summer salad, roasted vegetables, grilled pork over brown rice, roast chicken topped with garlic sauce, and cheesecake. The event also included a bar.

The main dinner served at the event, St. George, Utah, August 25, 2022 | Photo by Truman Burgess, St. George News

“These people that we’re doing this stuff for, they don’t normally get a lot of money,” Heger said. “They rely on donations and the kindness of people. So we really try to make their day.

About a month after the organization’s fundraisers, Heger said they held another event where they presented a massive check to the group they had raised funds for. In that case, Heger plans to hand over his check to RSQ Animal Rescue Team on September 21.

Although the Southern Utah Ladies Society is only two years old, Heger said, the organization has quickly made a name for itself in the local charitable community.

“The American Legion actually came to us,” she said, referring to an upcoming charity event in November. “They said, ‘We need help. We will run out of money. Would you be willing to fundraise for us? We said, ‘Yes, of course.’

November’s event will likely be a chili or soup brew, she said, something “fall related.”

Heger said each member of his organization has a turn in choosing which charities they fundraise for. For the past two years, the Southern Utah Ladies Society has held fundraisers for Bikers Against Child Abuse, Provide Animals with Support (PAWS), Washington County School District’s “At-Risk Students,” Neighborhood Connection and d ‘others.

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