VALPARAISO | Kids Power is bringing the dog days of summer to spring.
Hounds About Town is a community event that features decorated dog statues at businesses throughout Valparaiso.
The public can take the free dog tour, record where they have visited for an opportunity to win prizes and vote for their favorite statue. Also, Chicago Street Theatre members will help lead Saturday tours.
“They don’t have to visit all of the statues in one day – they can spread them out throughout the month (of May) and have fun with it,” said Kim Gavaller, who launched the organization with her daughter, Giana.
“This event is fun for the businesses decorating the statues and fun for the people to see," she said. "It also brings the community together and brings more business to the participating locations. The businesses are encouraged to offer samples, coupons and brochures when people come in.”
Giana Gavaller said launching the group was a way for kids to help the Porter County Animal Shelter.
“The animal shelter needed some more money and we thought we could help. Kids weren't allowed to be regular volunteers at the shelter so we had to find a way that we could help in our own way. Other kids had the same problem so Kids Power made sense,” she said.
Hounds About Town is just one fundraiser the community service group has hosted to support PCAS. The group has held bake sales, tag days, restaurant fund-raisers, and a shelter cleanup and beautification event. The show in March raised $785.
“The reason we started this event was because there were many things PCAS was in need of such as a new (industrial) washer and dryer, a new furnace/AC and other items,” Gavaller said. “They were higher ticket items so we wanted to do a bigger fundraiser.”
Participants can see where the dogs are located and download a tour code sheet to enter the drawing by visiting www.kidspowerportercounty.org.
The prize drawing will be on June 1 at the Porter County Animal Shelter before Porter County’s Biggest Pie Fight.
“We are considering doing a ‘Hounds About Porter County’ in a couple of years -- that would be a big fundraising event and even more fun,” Gavaller said.
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