Written June 12, 2021 by Taylor K. Truszkowski for Rochester Media
For the first time since 2019, the Michigan Animal Rescue League will host their in-person Yappy Hour event at the Rock Garden at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills on September 29.
Yappy Hour “is the only cocktail party in Metro Detroit where your dog is invited,” states the website for the Michigan Animal Rescue League (MARL). During Yappy Hour, guests may experience an evening of cocktails and treats, as well as activities such as a silent auction and red carpet photography. It is an outdoor event complete with tents, restrooms, water bowls, and other necessities for the dogs.
Yappy Hour is typically held during the first week of June, said MARL’s event coordinator, Megan Garrison. However, this year the event has been moved to Wednesday, September 29, to allow time for the pandemic to subside. “We took a chance and aimed for a later date,” Garrison said.
The change in season means a change in theme for the event. Audrey Blaylock, a communication manager for MARL, said she is excited about the new fall theme that will pair with the autumn landscape.
Yappy Hour is MARL’s biggest event of the year. It is important because the proceeds cover the medical care of rescue animals and staffing, which are the organization’s two biggest costs. Additionally, ticket proceeds cover the cost of running the event. “In prior years,” Garrison said, “it has made over $200,000.” The 2020 virtual Yappy Hour raised $140,000.
Despite some changes to adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, many of Yappy Hour’s traditions from previous years will remain the same. Office coordinator Taylor Turnbull said she looks forward to the red carpet photo shoot with a professional photographer. “You can get a picture with you and your furry friend, which we use as marketing material,” said Turnbull. Attendees are given copies of the photos as well.
Another Yappy Hour tradition that will continue is Team Cat, which is an opportunity for cat lovers to make an online donation in support of MARL’s cats. Donors will be recognized at the Yappy Hour event on the Team Cat display. “Yappy Hour is focused on dogs, but we don’t want to forget our special cats,” Garrison said, “Team Cat is a way to recognize all cat people and raise extra money for the cats.”
Businesses may contribute to the charity and promote themselves as sponsors. Sponsors who donate $2,500 can set up a booth to sell products and services, as long as the sponsor also brings something free and pet friendly to hand out to guests.
Guests may plan on the 12th Annual Yappy Hour taking place in-person at the Rock Garden at Meadow Brook Hall in Rochester Hills on September 29 (hours and details TBA). More information, including ticket purchase instructions, is available at the event page of the MARL Website.
The Michigan Animal Rescue League (MARL) is one of southeast Michigan’s most established animal shelters, serving the community since 1953. Our history and experience combined with constant evaluation of trends in animal welfare and sheltering have made us a necessary and respected asset within our community.
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