Shimmy for the ShelterBelieve it or not, belly dancing may help raise money for the local Animal Allies Human Society thanks to an event called Shimmy for the Shelter. A committee of six has been working countless hours since the spring to put together the fifth annual event in hopes that it will be their biggest and best yet.
By: Sarah Packingham , for the Budgeteer
Believe it or not, belly dancing may help raise money for the local Animal Allies Human Society thanks to an event called Shimmy for the Shelter.
A committee of six has been working countless hours since the spring to put together the fifth annual event in hopes that it will be their biggest and best yet.
Stefanie Kemp, an employee of Animal Allies Humane Society in Duluth, helped start this fundraiser with her friend who wanted to do something to help a local non-profit. The Shimmy for
the Shelter is not put on
by Animal Allies but by the funds Animal Allies raises.
“It exists to contribute to Animal Allies, but as our own fundraiser, we have a lot of artistic freedom to do what we want,” said volunteer Helen Makela.
Kemp said that there has been no negative feedback from Animal Allies about the fundraiser in past years.
“We’re in a lot of ways still a very grassroots organization,” Kemp said. “Animal Allies is a very innovative and progressive organization, and they’ve very much welcomed an idea like this.”
Makela has been helping with the event since the beginning and has enjoyed watching it grow.
“We’ve been very grassroots to begin with,” she said. “It’s really been a labor of love.”
Kemp said that each year they look for new ways to spark the interest of the public and to make the event grow. This year, they’re moving their event indoors for the first time.
Clyde Iron Works is donating the venue for the event, and this will be the first time they have been part of an event raising money for Animal Allies.
This is also the first time the event includes more than just belly dancing. This year, groups will be performing salsa, experimental and a multitude of other dances.
Kemp said that one of the most challenging aspects of putting together this event was the number of performers who were willing to donate their time to the cause but not having enough time to get everyone in the show.
Admission for the event is $7 per person, and with having a silent auction this year, Kemp said they are hoping to raise anywhere from $5,000 to $7,000.
“With this being the first year we’re at this level, we’ll take this as our growing year,” Makela said. “We’re learning a lot and improving it even more for the coming years. Experience in the process of planning an event like this is invaluable.”
Both Kemp and Makela said they have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community when it comes to getting donations for the silent auction. Some auction items include local artwork, jewelry and massage gift certificates.
“It’s been a very lovely little event,” Kemp said. “It was homegrown and it’s fun to see it grow into something as big as it’s going to be this year. It’s like watching a baby grow.”
“We’re really excited to put it on,” Makela added. “We’re excited for the number of people and the variety of people to come through and see that there’s something for pretty much all ages. We’re counting down the days until the event.”