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North Hills Monthly

Have a Heart for Animals

Jan 30, 2015 04:02PM ● By Shelly Tower Rushe
What better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than with music, a scavenger hunt and a big, sloppy kiss—from a dog? The fourth annual Have a Heart for Animals fundraiser on Friday, February 13 at the Bottlebrush Gallery & Center for the Arts in Harmony, will feature auctions, adoptable animals to socialize with, and yes, even a doggie kissing booth!

The event originally began as a simple donation drive for Butler County Humane Society (BCHS) held at the shop of animal lover, gallery owner and BCHS board member MJ McCurdy. “When I saw how the community got behind helping the shelter’s dogs and cats, I decided to make it a more comprehensive event, held around or on Valentine’s Day every year, and Have a Heart for Animals was born,” she explained. The event has grown from having one truckload of donations in 2012 that raised $510 to a two-truckload event that raised $1,500 in 2014.

McCurdy is looking forward to an even bigger event this year. Support just keeps growing and includes sponsors like Bottlebrush Gallery & Center for the Arts, C&G Pet Delights, Darn Yarn Needles & Thread, Harmony In The House Concerts, Pittsburgh Premier Laser Spa, Kathy and Don Seaton, Stohr Haus Bakery, Sci(fi)bers (from Darn Yarn Needles & Thread), The Exchange at Harmony, The Log Cabin, Three Rivers Crochet, and North Country Brewing/The Harmony Inn.

McCurdy is especially grateful to the fiber artists who meet at Darn Yarn Needles & Thread in Harmony. “Last year they donated all types of handmade items—jackets and matching collars and boots in all sizes; the generosity of the Sci(fi)bers and Three Rivers Crochet artists is incredible.”

Family-friendly activities at the event include an animal-themed scavenger hunt around the gallery. “The scavenger hunt is very popular and fun for all ages,” said McCurdy. “Participants are given a list of animal names, and they have to search through the entire gallery, find art that has that animal depicted in it and write that artist’s name on the list. Everyone who completes the hunt successfully gets a prize.”

There’s also face painting for the kids, a meet-and-greet with Draven the Therapy Cat and live music with Jim and Debbie Tobin. And don’t forget the auction baskets that include ‘With Love From Harmony,’ ‘With Love from Zelienople,’ a cookie basket donated by Stohr Haus Bakery and a ‘Winter Walkies’ basket donated by Three Rivers Crochet.

Admission to the event, which runs from 6-9 p.m., is free but attendees are asked to bring a donation from the BCHS’ wish list (which can be found at Cash donations are also welcome.