TROY — Local residents got to make art and aid critters simultaneously during Paint for Paws on Wednesday in Troy.
The event, which sold out to full capacity, was hosted by Mojo’s Bar & Grille. With the guidance of Mayflower Arts Center owner Lisa Bauer, participants had the chance to create their very own Valentine’s Day painting on a 16-inch-by-20-inch canvas. Food and libations were available to participants while they painted.
Funds raised by ticket purchases were pooled toward a noble cause.
“We are raising money for Old Man’s Alley Cats,” said Mojo’s co-owner Brenda Boyle, who founded Old Man’s Alley Cats as a passion project. “It’s a trap, neuter, and release program we’ve been doing for a few years on our own. We’re working humanely with cats from the alleys of the southwest historic district, so it’s a small focus area right now.
We have a slightly different philosophical approach than similar programs, in that we don’t just go and trap feral cats. We gain their trust, get them fixed, keep them in for a while until we get them domesticated, and then we find them a home.”
The theme for the event was “You hold the key,” which Boyle and Bauer hope will incite multiple interpretations.
“It’s a theme for Valentine’s Day,” said Bauer. “‘You hold the key’ can also be tied into the rescue mission. The community holds the key to supporting this mission and helping things happen. It’s very difficult for one or two people to do it on their own. The problem’s not going to go away entirely, but we can definitely help minimize it. Funding from events like this always help.”
Since the program is still in its early stages, Boyle is working strategically to expand the reach of Old Man’s Alley Cats slowly.
“Cat Advocates of Troy was a previous organization in town that unfortunately couldn’t hold their organization together,” said Boyle. “I think they maybe tried doing too much too soon, and didn’t have the funding or support for it. They disbanded last year, but there’s still such a need. With tonight’s event, we’ll be able to neuter at least six cats. With the community’s support, we can expand our focus area.”
Reach Cody Willoughby at firstname.lastname@example.org.