What do Ann Bollens, Barbara Nuckols, Cathy Streeter, Connie McMillan, Lisa Smith, Lori Douglas, Lynn Hughes, Phyllis, Hill, Robin Johnston, Romana Lopez, and Stephanie Sharpe have in common besides witnessing alien invasions from outer space??
My sincere heartfelt thanks for planning, arranging, and executing the best Hound Dog Howliday GPAEC has ever done!!! This committee truly wowed the throng of visitors to the Bayview Inn Beach Resort in Gulf Breeze. Besides our space aliens, we had visitors from as far as Canada, Connecticut, Vermont, Tennessee, Kentucky, Georgia, Louisiana, and I’m likely leaving some out..oh yea, even Florida too! ALL ENJOYED THE BEACH WITH THEIR GREYHOUNDS!!! Yes we could even play in the sand and water with our very happy hounds. One lady discovered, or re-discovered, how strong Greyhounds are when her big brindle joyously bounded through the water like Tigger and promptly pulled his owner into the surf for an unceremonious dunking! What a blast.
We had Cindy Hanson, the Editor in Chief of Celebrating Greyhounds magazine address the group explaining how that multiple award winning publication is created and how to successfully submit pictures and articles.by the way, our own Ann Bollens has been published in CG several times. Add to that, the American Greyhound Council 2010 Adoption Person of the Year, Linda Jensen. What a treasure trove of Greyhound information Linda is. She has been in every aspect of the racing Greyhound business from breeding pups for racing, to placing fosters in forever homes. She and Ann have been collaborating for a long time in moving some of our dogs to groups in the New England area and even Canada.
Of course Howliday has a purpose other than entertaining and educating people.it is above all our major fund raiser for the year and the 2011 version just may have broken all the records for that as well!! Final numbers are being tabulated by Funk and Wagnall for placement on their front porch in a sealed mayo jar (well, actually Lynn the Money Lady is counting up the receipts right now). But I can tell you we raised $2500 for Dr. Couto’s research on Greyhound cancers at Ohio State! Thanks to the ever generous Tina Bryant!! Tears were flowing throughout the conference room as bids went higher and higher as Kathy Baratelli’s Ghost modeled the lovely dress created especially for Dr Couto’s program by seamstresses Cathy Streeter, Katrina Holowach, and Lisa Smith. But that wasn’t all.Even the Greys roo’ed their approval for several minutes during one auction in the night’s fashion show bidding. I’m not kidding! It was awesome!!
And Sunday morning we started a new tradition this year on the beach with Robin’s Blessing of the Hounds by St Francis of Assisi and our Emerald Coast Memorial Bell Ceremony and its coin memento, an adaptation of an old Navy tradition of ringing the ship’s bell in memory of lost shipmates. We remembered by name 76 pets along with the 37 racers we lost at Ebro in October, all now waiting at the Rainbow Bridge. I had the greyt honor of presiding at that event with assistance from Robin and Jodi Lowery.we all had a tough time getting through it. A real heart warmer. The remainder of Sunday, Howliday revelers enjoyed shopping for Greyt Greyhound Stuff from our outstanding vendors, punctuated by crowning our Howliday royalty, King Bob and Queen Emily, and our Senior Stroll led by No Doubt Kathy at soon to be 14 years old. We enjoyed numerous raffle drawings, and silent as well as live benefit auctions of some really nice items under the gavel and bidding paddle of GPA Tri-State auctioneer David Bristow.and did the Hounds ever benefit!!! Can’t wait to see the final numbers.
All in all, Howliday 2011 was indeed GREYT!! LIVE LONG AND PROSPER!!