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ASAP 25th Anniversary Celebration
updated: May 29, 2014, 9:06 AM

By Animal Shelter Assistance Program

The Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP) held an anniversary celebration on Saturday May 17, 2014 to mark ASAP's 25 years of service to the feline and human residents of Santa Barbara County. The event, the first large fundraiser ever hosted by ASAP, netted over $80,000 in proceeds for the roughly 1,200 cats served every year at its shelter on Overpass Road in Goleta.

The party, generously hosted by QAD on its Summerland campus, was attended by over 350 guests, as well as more than 40 dedicated ASAP volunteers, united by a common desire to celebrate ASAP's achievements as a leading animal welfare nonprofit, and to raise funds to benefit the cats that will inevitably continue to need assistance.

"The 25th Anniversary Celebration surpassed our wildest hopes," said ASAP's Executive Director, Angela Walters Rockwell. "Because we've never done anything on this scale, we didn't know if anyone would show up, or if they'd be moved enough to donate extra to help the cats. But true to form, the ASAP community came out in force to show their dedication to homeless cats and their appreciation of what we do. We are deeply grateful to them, to QAD for hosting us, and to the many corporate and individual sponsors whose support was the foundation for our success."

ASAP Executive Director Angela Walters Rockwell gives the guests some heartfelt applause.

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The funds raised at the anniversary celebration will go to support ASAP's many critical programs, including foster and medical care for vulnerable kittens, and spay/neuter and veterinary care for the roughly 800 adult cats and 400 kittens that it takes in each year.

As part of its 25th Anniversary, ASAP has received acknowledgement from several quarters, including a Resolution of Commendation honoring the Animal Shelter Assistance Program upon their 25th Anniversary, approved by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, and a California Legislature's Resolution recognizing ASAP's contributions and its role as a model for other animal welfare organizations throughout California.

Auctioneer Sean Kelly motivated the guests and raised $80,000 in the auction.

According to ASAP Board Vice President Lee Heller, "ASAP is a leading light in the local animal rescue community, and a model for a successful partnership between a municipal agency - in this case, Santa Barbara County Animal Services - and a private nonprofit. ASAP's 250 volunteer force, its highly committed and capable program directors and staff, and its 4,000 community supporters, are the reason why we are able to do so much, and to help other organizations to do more. We are proud of our accomplishments and ready to extend our aid where it can help save more cats' lives."

EDC Executive Director Owen Bailey, Gina Carbajal, 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, and ASAP Board Vice President Lee Heller.

ASAP was founded in 1989 by a small group of volunteers committed to saving the lives of the 90% of cats then being killed at the county shelter. Within a year, the newly formed, entirely-volunteer organization had reduced the number of adoptable cats killed from 90% to 0%. ASAP has continued to save all adoptable cats in its care since then, including many cats transferred from higher kill shelters in Lompoc and Santa Maria. It cares for approximately 1,200 cats each year, including 400+ kittens, and is the sole shelter for lost and abandoned cats in southern Santa Barbara County. ASAP has received grants in support of its work from national foundations such as the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the Petco Foundation, the Bernice Barbour Foundation, the Wood-Claeyssens Foundation, and the Wendy P. McCaw Foundation. It is considered a model of successful private/public partnership, with fundraising and volunteer support providing the equivalent of 15 full time employees (FTE) to the Santa Barbara County Animal Services program.

The wine flowed freely into the coveted Basil wine glasses.


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