Can lightning strike twice in 2023 at the annual Red Dog, Blue Dog fundraiser?
Although the 2022 competition was held on a rainy freezing night, the reference here is purely metaphorical.
That January night, organizers raised nearly $60,000 to support companion animals in the Tallahassee area through three local rescue organizations — sextupling the $10,000 take the last time the event was held in 2020 (The fundraiser was canceled in 2021 due to COVID-19).
This year’s Red Dog, Blue Dog is set for March 21 — also Humane Lobby Day at the Capitol — and will once again be held in CollegeTown at Township Bar, located at 619 S. Woodward Ave.
At the event, teams of to-be-announced legislative guest bartenders from each political party will be slinging drinks and soliciting tips to support the animal causes. Last year the Red Team came out on top, but at a much slimmer margin than the Florida Red Tsunami of the 2022 General Election. So there might be hope for the Blue Team this year.
Last year, the lion’s share of the take — $35,000 — came when a fast-talking Sen. Aaron Bean auctioned off a set of lunches and dinners with legislators — and then auctioned off even more as lawmakers offered themselves up for the cause. Now-Congressman Bean will probably be in Washington during the event, but event organizer Sara Clements says “we hope to do it again.”
Red Dog, Blue Dog has become one of the most fun see-and-be-seen events during Session, according to Clements. It remains lively because “every two years, we have a new crop of legislators and aides, so it’s a great opportunity to reintroduce it.”
In addition to tips and meals, organizers have also compiled a roster of sponsors, including Presenting Sponsor Lisa Miller & Associates and Bar Sponsor Rubin Turnbull. Other sponsors include On3 PR, McGuireWoods Consulting, Americans for Prosperity-FL, Landmarc Strategies and Jennifer Wilson.
“In the last eight months, the Animal Shelter Foundation has spent about $20,000 on heartworm treatment for shelter dogs,” said Kate MacFall, Florida State Director at The Humane Society of the United States, and one of the politically connected animal lovers that initiated Red Dog, Blue Dog in 2014.
“With the costs associated with heartworm treatment already taken care of, adopters are much more likely to adopt a HW-positive dog. We are thrilled to be able to assist in this way thanks to our generous donors. And we can’t wait for RDBD 2023,” she added.
Last Hope Rescue reports, “we have provided heartworm treatment, surgical procedures, routine vet care, food and supplies, and spayed/neutered dozens of dogs in our adoption program with the donations from last year’s RDBD.”
Admission is free and the “tip-off” starts at 6 p.m. If you can’t be there, make a tax-deductible donation online via PayPal at reddogbluedog.org.