I’ve had this idea for some time that we should do a fundraiser in Ottawa where we get designer doghouses built and donated by local trades/contractors and then auction them off for charity, proceeds to the Ottawa Humane Society. I finally decided this is the year to do it. And so with the help of John from Historic Building Co. and my realtor pal, George Prazmowski, we started working out the logistics of how to go about this.
This kind of event started in the US under the name Barkitecture, but they’ve copyrighted that name so the first step was to find another name that hadn’t been used. I threw out a request for some brainstorming on Twitter and Facebook and got a list of great names:
Habitat for Hounds
Lifestyles of the Bitch and Famous
Homes for Hounds
Homes with Woofs!
“Help put a Woof over their heads” (I can see this as a tagline!)
For Your Paws Only
In the Doghouse
Bone and Garden
The Canine Condo
Fido’s Dream Home
Homes with Woofs! was the one that we chose. I think it’s great!
We’re working on getting space donated by the City for our event, and we’re meeting with the Humane Society’s events planner on Monday to go over our plans. (They’re thrilled!) We’re hoping to have one doghouse built and on display for the Humane Society’s Fur Ball, and hold the event sometime at the end of May.
So far, we have five confirmed doghouses on the way: two from Historic Building Co. (one will be a little red doghouse with Snoopy lying on the top; the other a barn), one from fellow realtor Lu Korte, one from Matt Viau at Modern Carpentry, and another from Vala Home Improvements. We need eight or nine more custom doghouses to make all this happen but of the four people I contacted, three said yes, so I have a feeling we’ll get it done!
If you have one of these old consoles sitting around in Ottawa, let us know so Richard can pick it up.
We decided this should be an event with other things up for silent auction too. John from Historic Building Co. suggested we have wine and appetizers and is going to help us line up donations of those from his restaurant pals.
And since I’m all about events, I’ve ordered a dozen cookie cutters shaped like different dog breeds, and now I’m looking on-line at how to decorate cupcakes like dogs too. (I do huge events for my book launches– live Cuban music, Cuban food, Cuban drinks, Cuban flags; we even had a sculpted car one year shaped like a ’57 Chevy) and it’s those kinds of things that get people buzzing!
Katherine Hobbs, our city councillor, is helping us as well. She’s suggested we contact a local theatre company and see if we can get waiters dressed in dog costumes. Now, that would be fun! I’m thinking we could have a yappy hour like they do in the US, maybe a flea market … well, you can see how much fun this is going to be.
Chloe Benoit, a local graphic designer, is going to help us develop a logo. Fellow mystery author CB (Chris) Forrest, a communications pal of mine, will handle the media. Nick Bachusky, an Ottawa mortgage broker, has offered to help out in organizing this too. Sandra Spence and Diana Kirkwood have also volunteered as has Diane Ritchie, another Royal LePage pal of mine.
I’ll keep you posted on what we’re up to. And if you want to volunteer ( build, paint, bake, or just hang out) let us know! Spread the word!
UPDATE: Thanks to the very talented Chloe Benoit, we have a new logo (see below). We also have a date (June 12), a venue (the Jean Pigott Hall at City Hall), some amazing donations and all kinds of stuff to tell you — check out the new blog, www.homeswithwoofs.wordpress.com for deets!