PARKERSBURG - The second annual Mountaineer Tail-Waggin' Tailgate Party was a success with $20,000 more than expected raised for the Humane Society of Parkersburg.
The event to kick off the college football season on Saturday evening raised more than $55,000 for the low cost spay/neuter clinic, said Maryann Hollis, executive director of the humane society.
"It's incredible," Hollis said. "I am still in awe, more than 48 hours later. I can't believe the generosity of the community."
During the event, more than 400 animal lovers wearing gold and blue filled Dils Park in Vienna.
Hollis said organizers had hoped this year's event would raise a similar amount to last year's $35,000.
"We were ecstatic last year when our first ever event raised $36,000," said Carrie Roe, president of the Humane Society of Parkersburg. "This year's $55,000 is unimaginable."
The Stop Pet Overpopulation Today (SPOT) Committee from the humane society organized the event and this year added sponsors to help underwrite the event.
"Our tailgate party is unique in that it doesn't attract only humane society supporters, but also West Virginia University football fans and auction lovers," Hollis said. "I think that really helped us do so well."
This year's tailgate party included food, a DJ, photobooth and WVU football highlights on big screens. The live and silent auctions helped bring in the majority of the money raised.
The live auction included 20 items while the silent auction had more than 100 items donated. Everything from custom-commissioned pet portraits to a week at Charlene Crooks' beachfront home in North Carolina were part of the auction.
A week at Kure Beach brought the highest bid at $2,200, but carpet from Family Carpet was not far behind along with a weekend at the Greenbrier and an oil painting from Rebecca Noble also brought out top bidders, she said.
"This event is not only about bringing together Mountaineer fans but also about bringing our community together toward a common goal of raising money for a real solution to all the unwanted animals that find themselves homeless and unwanted," Roe said. "What can be better than having a wonderful evening with friends and fans and saving lives in the process?"
The money raised from the party will be put with the nearly $300,000 already raised for the spay/neuter clinic.
"I have a feeling we will be able to break ground on the clinic soon," Hollis said.