County Line Orchard, 200 South County Line Road, in Hobart, will again be the site for The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana's annual PET ROCK fundraiser on Saturday. The event features live entertainment, silent and live auctions, food options, a cash bar and more.
This columnist is again thrilled to be involved with the PET ROCK project serving as the evening's emcee - and in the spirit of full disclosure - helping to personally secure many of the celebrity-signed items to be auctioned.
Headlining the evening's stage bill is The Bluz Brothers - billed as "Chicago's premier tribute to Jake & Elwood Blues" - with special guest Laurie Blazzing from "Joplin: The Janis Joplin Show." The evening also features a special acoustic performance by members of Northwest Indiana's top club band, The Crawpuppies, plus comedians Marci Deloney and Rudy Ruiz of the Tomfoolery Fun Club variety show.
Auction items this year number over 100 and include brand new acoustic and electric guitars, a custom Beat Boogie snare drum, concert and sports tickets, themed gift baskets, original concert posters, collectable plates, a week's condominium stay in Mexico, and dozens of celebrity-signed items.
Among the celebrity auction items are a Bruce Springsteen-autographed "Born To Run" album, band-signed guitars from both Foreigner and STYX, a signed stage-played fiddle bow from Charlie Daniels, a personally worn bracelet from Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, and assorted items autographed by such stars as Ted Nugent, Jethro Tull, Charlie Daniels, Cheap Trick, Boston, Triumph, Dave Koz, Janis Ian, Jim Peterik, Tommy James, Chad & Jeremy, The Chicago Blackhawks, and others.
"Last year people were bidding generously and we raised $15,000 with the Pet Rock event. We are hoping that will be the case again this year," said Frieda White, the long time HSNI director shelter operations. "Our event offers many unique items for auction and some great entertainment for those just looking for a great night out."
All proceeds from the evening will benefit The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana to cover daily operating expenses for the care of animals. The Humane Society of Northwest Indiana is an independent shelter that relies solely on adoption fees, private donations, and fundraising events such as PET ROCK.
Doors open at 5 p.m. for VIP ticket holders and 5:30 p.m. for General Admission. Entertainment begins at 6 p.m. Tickets: $50 VIP / $20 General Admission / $10 Children 12 and younger. Advance tickets available at: eventbrite.com/e/pet-rock-2015-tickets. Tickets not sold will be available at the door. The VIP tickets are strictly limited and include free VIP buffet, goodie bag and guaranteed seating in the VIP Loft section of the venue. FYI: (219) 938-3339, humanesocietynorthwestindiana.org, or facebook.com/HumaneSocietyofNWIN.
• Catch region comedians Ruiz and Deloney, along with Tom Byelick of "The Tomfoolery Fun Club" tonight at 6 p.m. on 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio’s “A Look at the Arts” program. The funny folks will talk about their careers and their part in the PET ROCK event.
• Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward will guest on the 89.1FM-Lakeshore Public Radio program, "Midwest BEAT with Tom Lounges," on Tuesday at 6 p.m. Hayward will chat about his new solo album and his career with The Moody Blues, who perform on April 9 at Star Plaza Theatre in Merrillville. Stream it live online: lakeshorepublicmedia.org.