What do a customized motorcycle and a new cat isolation shelter have in common?
The correct answer: Glen Gordon and the Langley Animal Protection Society.
Gordon spent thousands of dollars and two years having a 1978 Yamaha motorcycle restored, only to determine – after the fact – that he would never ride it or any other bike.
As the former manager of permits and licensing for the Township of Langley, he had worked closely with the animal welfare organization and believed strongly in the work LAPS does in the community. In fact, LAPS executive director Sean Baker credited Gordon with being instrumental to getting the current Patti Dale Animal Shelter built in Aldergrove prior to his retirement in 2008.
“He led the staff charge before council for funding,” Baker explained. “It might not have happened without him.… He was the guy who sort of led us through it… now, he’s not a boots-on-the-ground volunteer for us, but he’s always there. He’s been a great resource for us.”
Fast forward seven years, and the animal shelter has been constructed. Now, LAPS is in the final leg of fundraising to build a cat isolation shelter on the same property – a place to nurse sick cats back to wellness and prevent the transfer of illnesses to other health feline.
And again, Gordon is playing a key role in the erection of LAPS’ new building.
He’s donated his motorcycle, appraised at $20,000, to the cause and Baker said auctioning off that one-of-a-kind bike could be just enough to push LAPS over its $550,000 fundraising goal needed for the cat centre.
“It is a very special thing. We’ve never had anything like this donated to us before,” Baker said of the bike. “The dollars we can fetch from it will make a significant difference.”
Admittedly, it is one of the most unusual item ever donated to the organization, said Baker, who elaborated that it will be auctioned off (provided a reserve bid is met) during next month’s live auction at the eighth annual Furry Tail Endings gala.
Half of the proceeds from this year’s Nov. 7 sold-out gala will go towards the cost of day-to-day programs at the shelter such as the spay and neutering initiative, training for dogs, and a medical fund.
The other half of this year’s proceeds from the Great Gatsby theme gala are earmarked for the 1,300-square-foot cat isolation facility, which honestly Baker hoped would have already been finished.
‘But we wanted to make sure we do it right,” he added, noting there’s no other facility in existence (that they’re aware of) that they could simply duplicate.Consequently, they’ve spent longer than anticipated fine-tuning design elements, reviewing health needs, and fundraising. It’s put the project behind.
Baker is meeting with builders in the next week and hopes to finalize the plans and budget before the gala, with construction set to start by the end of the year. And, with a predicted seven- to nine-month building window, he’s hoping a ribbon-cutting celebration is less than a year out.
Baker said auctioning off the bike, as well as a number of other large live auction items, will help make that goal attainable. Well Seasoned gourmet food store owner Angie Quaale will once again be donating an evening meal package that last year, after being donated back and auctioned off a second time, raised $12,000.
There’s also a five-day rental of a deluxe condo at Sun Peaks during the annual wine festival that is expected to raise several thousand, plus a cabin rentals on Mayne Island, artwork, and several concert and sports event tickets are once again expected to attract large bids.
Last year’s gala raised a record $90,000, with $51,000 of that coming from the live and silent auctions. This year, that could be even more, Baker said, crossing his fingers.
The job that lies ahead now is collecting more items for the gala’s silent auction.
Any individual or business wishing to donate large or small value auction items is also invited to contact LAPS.
• Waiting list is growing
In the meantime, the gala sold out back on Oct. 1, more than a month ahead of the event.
It’s the earliest sell-out ever, Baker said. And while they’ve had as many as 480 in attendance during past events, he described it as “pretty squishy.” This year, they’ve chosen to scale back to about 430.
While all the tickets are sold out, every year a few of their guests find out they can’t attend and opt to donate their tickets back. With that expectation in mind again this year, Baker said there area already10 people already on a waiting list.
People interested in donating or for those wanting to be added to the waiting list, they can call the shelter at 604-857-5055.