VIENNA - Several hundred people filled Buzzie Dils Park Saturday evening for the second annual Mountaineer Tail-Waggin' Tailgate Party.
"We expect to see 500 people, at least, throughout the party," said Maryann Hollis, executive director of the Humane Society of Parkersburg. "This event was popular last year and it seems to be more popular this year."
Organizer Karen Katcher said the event is unique because it does not attract just supporters of the humane society, but also West Virginia University football fans and auction hunters.
Nancy Kane, of Ravenswood, looks at a painting of a dog before she bids on it during the second annual Mountaineer Tail-Waggin’ Tailgate Party to benefit the Humane Society of Parkersburg on Saturday at Buzzie Dils Park. (Photo by Jolene Craig)
"It not only helps people kick off the football season, but helps the animals as well," Katcher said.
Hollis said she enjoys the tailgate because it has a different atmosphere from the annual Walk Your Paws fundraiser in City Park each summer.
"This is just a very different event and attracts a very different crowd," she said. "Not only that, but while Walk Your Paws has people raising money for the humane society, this event allows people to bid and get some great things while helping the animals."
All proceeds from the event will benefit the HSOP's low-cost spay and neuter clinic campaign.
"Hopefully the proceeds from this tailgate will get us close to breaking ground on the clinic," Hollis said.
Along with food, a DJ, photobooth and WVU highlights on big screens, there were also live and silent auctions. More than 100 items were donated for the silent auction and another 20 for the live auction. The auction items included sports memorabilia, crafts, trips, products and services from local businesses and organizations.
In addition to the auction, organizers planned to give away more than $7,000 in cash during the reverse drawing, including a $4,000 grand prize.
The first tailgate party raised $35,000 for the society with the expectations for this year's event to be higher. The final numbers are expected to be available in the coming week.