LAPS unveils its plans for this year’s Furry Tail Endings gala on a Facebook livestream event Friday night at 7 p.m. (Special to Langley Advance Times)

LIVESTREAMING: Langley animal shelter goes virtual Friday night for gala reveal

Amid COVID, the animal protection society is announcing new plans for its big fall fundraiser

In less than an hour, the Langley animal shelter goes live with a big announcement about its always sell-out fall gala – and what it will look like on a new virtual platform.

For the past 12 years, hundreds of animal lovers have come together to fundraise and show their support for Langley Animal Protection Society (LAPS) at the signature event every November. And because of all that support, (last year to the tune of $156,000) they have made dreams come true for thousands of animals, said executive director Jayne Nelson.

LAST YEAR’S EVENT: ‘Magical’ night raises $156,000 for Langley’s needy animals

But that event and some of the support was put in jeopardy by COVID, or at least that was the initial fear.

“Because of the pandemic – and our desire to keep our staff, volunteers, and supporters safe – we are having to think outside the box a little this year,” Nelson said. And that, they did.

RELATED: Langley Animal Protection Society raises more than $13,000 through annual fundraiser

“We have had to move all of our events online and make them virtual,” she explained, starting first with the recent Furry Tails foot race that raised a record-breaking $13,315, and now tonight’s Heroes Wine and Cheese event turned livestream reveal.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE LIVESTREAM

Keeping to a tight 20 to 30-minute program, this event will be a chance to recognize some of the “amazing volunteer team, who we are very much missing,” Nelson said. Plus Friday night’s livestream will also mark the launch to LAPS’ annual vacation lottery, and will offer those in “attendance” a chance to win some prizes, she explained.

But, of course, the big unveiling in tonight’s virtual event will come when they divulge plans for this year’s Furry Tail Endings Gala, Nelson said.

“Even though we may not be able to come together this year in person for our signature gala, we need your support more than ever to continue to make dreams come true for animals in our community,” she said, noting how staff and volunteers have been working hard to create a fun, interactive, and exciting new event that everyone can enjoy.

“We have had a lot of fun planning it,” she admitted just a few hours in advance of the livestreamed announcement. “It’s going to be the best gala you never attended.”

A third of the LAPS budget comes from donations and fundraising activities, and a third of that comes from the gala specifically, making the “success of these virtual events really important to LAPS,” Nelson said.

”These are extraordinary times and we want to ensure that we can continue to support our community through important programs like Major’s Legacy Fund and our pet pantry – providing help for people who are experiencing challenges providing medical care or food for their pets. The money we raise also helps ensure our ISOasis and adoption programs can continue to operate and help the animals in our community.”

For more information about the Langley Animal Protection Society, or any of its events, people can go online to their website.

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