Journal of the San Juan Islands


Best medicine

Journal of the San Juans Editor
June 19, 2013 · Updated 10:10 AM

9th annual Wags to Riches fundraiser / Contributed photo

Normally, the business of caring for stray, lost or abandoned animals is no a laughing matter.

But a break from the norm and a healthy dose of hilarity promises to be just what the doctor ordered — make that veterinarian — at the 9th annual Wags to Riches fundraiser, Saturday, June 29.Wags to Riches

And what’s the buzz about a helicopter and $2,500 cash prize? Well, more on that in a moment.

Sponsored by Friday Harbor Animal Protection Society, Wags to Riches is the biggest benefit of the year for the APS-managed Friday Harbor Animal Shelter, where on any given day as many as 25 cats and kittens, and 3-4 dogs, are provided with safe haven, nourishment, medical treatment and a helping, caring, loving hand.

Anywhere between 60-75 cats and kittens are adopted year-in and year-out through the animal shelter, where each animal is treated and given medical clearance prior to adoption. Adoptions of dogs and puppies number about 35-40 a year, collectively. The shelter remains a “no-kill” facility for any adoptable animal

With as many as 150 animals a year to care for, or more, that’s serious stuff, with an overhead of about $150,000 a year. A little humor offers a nice change of pace.

So, with three nationally renowned comedians set to share the spotlight of the San Juan Community Theatre stage, this year’s event is entitled, most suitably, as “Comedy to the Rescue”. It stars Elayne Boozler, founder of Tails of Joy, an animal rescue and advocacy foundation, who’s making a second appearance at Wags to Riches, award-winning standup comic Emo Philips, and veteran late-night talk show comedian Wendy Liebman, whose “Taller on T.V.” special debuted on Showtime in 2012.

That’s not all, not by a long shot.

Wags to RichesIn addition to rib-tickling performances by three veteran comedians, admission to the show includes gourmet hors d’oeuvres and tasty beverages as well as great raffles and a live auction. The event also features an online silent auction that begins - goes live - Friday, June 21, a week before Comedy to the Rescue hits the stage (for access to the silent auction, go online at, biddingforgood.com/apsfh.).

Oh, and the helicopter and cash prize?

An added attraction to this year’s fundraiser is Wags to Riches “Howl-in-One Balldrop” and raffle drawing. At about noon on the day of the event, Dane Armstrong will be hovering over a yet-to-be-determined green at San Juan Golf & Country at about 200 feet, with a cargo of golf balls purchased as part of the Wags to Riches raffle, $10 a ball, no limit on entry, in the belly of his aircraft. The owner of the first ball to roll into the hole will win $2,500 cash, and additional prizes await for those with the five closest balls to the hole (winners will be announced at the Comedy to the Rescue show).

Three comedians, live and silent (online) auctions, gourmet food and drink, a first-ever helicopter ball drop — and all for a good cause — put it all together to make Wags to Riches truly something to bark about.


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