Dogs in Art class hosting Halloween fundraiser for Cache Humane Society – Utahstatesman

Dogs in Art class hosting Halloween fundraiser for Cache Humane Society – Utahstatesman

“Cruella de Vil, Cruella de Vil/ If she doesn’t scare you, no evil thing will” — except for the exterior of Cache Humane Society’s main headquarters, which, according to Utah State University students in the Dogs in Art class, looks like a “doggy jail.”  
In an effort to increase the curb appeal of the shelter, students from the class are hosting “Tails from the Crypt,” a pet-themed Halloween fundraiser for the Cache Humane Society. The fundraiser — themed as the Disney film “101 Dalmatians” — will take place at Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art on Oct. 28 from 7 to 10 p.m. Admission is free, but the Dogs in Art students encourage donations. 

Laura Gelfand, professor of art history and instructor of the Dogs in Art class, had the idea for Tails from the Crypt when she noticed how overworked the employees of CHS are. 
“We have two goals,” Gelfand said. “The first is to get a mural on their building so that we can help them shed the stigma of being a doggy jail. The second is that some of the funds will go towards student scholarships.” 
Gelfand will be wearing a Cruella de Vil costume to the auction, and student volunteers will dress up as her dalmatians.  
The event will include a silent auction, a costume contest, a live DJ with dancing and a miniatureparade performed by a local group of women from the annual Witches Dance in Logan.  
Chuck Landvatter, a USU alumni from the Department of Art & Design, will paint the mural. A mock-up example of the piece will be presented for the first time during the event.  
Gelfand incorporated the fundraiser into her classroom curriculum because she said it gives her students real world experience with social media marketing and nonprofit businesses. 
“When I initially thought about it, I sort of had something pretty small in mind,” Gelfand said. “Because I have students in the classes who are so supportive of the idea, it’s allowed me to think about it bigger.” 
Ashley Peterson, a student majoring in political science, is helping to organize the event and manage volunteer assignments. She said planning fundraisers like these are important to her college education because it relates to her future plans. 
“For political science, something that’s very important is realizing how much better you can understand the culture and community by serving them, and by really getting your hands dirty and making differences that you can see,” Peterson said. 
With hundreds of animals to care for, CHS does not have the time or resources to change the building’s appearance. 
“It’s very clear that they just don’t have time, given what they’re doing,” said Gelfand. “Even though it’s a priority for them, it is not as much of a priority as dealing with sick and injured animals.” 
The Dogs in Art students said it is important to make the outside of CHS look more appealing to increase adoption rates and help those working there. 
“It looks like a puppy prison,” Peterson said. “But the shelter itself is a very happy place, and they’re a no-kill shelter. They’re focused on creating a good environment for those animals and getting them into loving homes.” 
Radeyah Kaplan, an art history student, is ensuring the event is properly advertised. Over a virtual interview, Kaplan explained how this event is different from other fundraising activities on campus. 
“The money generated by most fundraisers would be directly donated to the shelter,” Kaplan said. “But this event is going to create a lasting impact, one that will hopefully increase the facility’s adoptions and donations for decades to come.” 
CHS is a nonprofit organization run entirely by donations and grants. According to the employees, their goal is to give the animal shelter a cheerful tone to encourage adoption.  
“Fundraisers like these are important in a university setting because they promote action over inaction,” Kaplan said. “TV commercials with massive, saddening statistics and clips of miserable animals often only depress their viewer. This event, on the contrary, is centered around positivity.” 
Students from the Dogs in Art class encourage others not only to attend Tails from the Crypt but to consider volunteering at CHS as well.
“You don’t need to be an altruistic billionaire or a soup kitchen CEO to make a real, lasting difference,” Kaplan said. “Seeing a ragtag bunch of professors and students banding together to create a really cool event like this sends a powerful message and encourages the student body to consider whether they could do the same.”  

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