Wanderers’ Rest celebrates 40th anniversary

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WAMPSVILLE — After a year of unforeseen challenges as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Wanderers’ Rest is looking forward to celebrating its 40th anniversary — with the goal of continuing to care for homeless animals and to help them find loving, permanent homes.

“We’re celebrating our anniversary through the entire year,” Shelter Manager Sabrina Wilcox said. “But we have two events planned: Bone Appetit and Woofstock.”

Bone Appetit was originally scheduled for May 2020 but had to be canceled due to COVID. The event will take place on July 17 at the Lincklean House in Cazenovia and will feature auctions, raffles, hors d’oeuvres, and more.

“And we’re going all out this year for Woofstock,” Wilcox said.

Woofstock is Wanderers’ Rest’s biggest fundraiser of the year, where people can meet adoptable animals or learn more about the shelter. 2019’s Woofstock was good for the whole family and featured a playground and children’s crafts, food and beverages, live music, and more.

Woofstock will take place on Aug. 14, the official anniversary of Wanderers’ Rest.

“We had to cancel Woofstock in 2020, but we’re working on making it a big celebration while following all the COVID protocols,” Wilcox said. “It’ll be an outdoor event, and we’ll be doing everything we can to make sure everyone stays safe while having fun.”

The cancellation of the fundraising events had put a damper on things, but this year’s Save-A-Life campaign has helped out tremendously.

The Staffworks Fund offers to match funds raised by local animal shelters, and throughout December, Wanderers’ Rest worked to raise funds from the community — who came out in force.

“Our goal last year was to raise $100,000 to get the maximum amount the Staffworks Fund can match,” Wilcox said. “We did it. With the matching $30,000 from Staffworks, we raised $132,000. This is a huge accomplishment for us. We worked hard to get the word out.”

And in turn, the community came out to support Madison County’s only animal shelter — something Wilcox said she was grateful for.

As for Wanderers’ Rest’s future, Wilcox said the shelter would continue to connect with the community via Facebook live events.

“Tell-a-Tail Tuesdays was a way to do something for children at home during the shutdown, and we’ve decided to do it again during the summer months when school is out,” she said. “We’ll be reading stories in our community cat room and answer questions.”

During school, Wilcox said shelter employees would host a Facebook live event called “Talk to us Tuesday,” in which they can answer any questions posed by the community.

“We want to give you the full inside of the shelter, show you what’s going on, or just show you some animals,” Wilcox said. “We want you to be able to get to know us. We’re an open book.”

For more information about Wanderers’ Rest or their upcoming events, visit http://wanderersrest.org/ or https://www.facebook.com/wanderersrest

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