For the first time in 23 years, pets got to join their humans for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region’s Aug. 1 Fur Ball fundraiser, “Hawaii Fid-O.”

Some dressed in Hawaiian shirts and leis as pups and kitties and their families watched the online gala from home, saw a pet parade video, and bid during the silent auction. One extra-special item up for bid was an opportunity to “Design a Real Life Room,” a homey living-room area at the shelter where dogs can comfortably meet their potential new families. Top bid was $6,000.

A lively “raise the virtual paddle” brought in donations at every level, starting high at $10,000.

The result: Fur Ball 2020 raised $327,000 for the 25,000 homeless, abused and neglected animals housed at the shelters each year in Colorado Springs and Pueblo.

Host Rich Schur kept the on-screen action going, all while holding adorable pup Delilah, who was recovering from an injured leg and ready for foster care before being available for adoption. People spotted her on the gala screen and started a waiting list.

Shelter supporters and staff said in the evening’s video that during this year unlike any other, the early stay-at-home days of COVID-19 in March and April had emptied out their shelters, with new comfort pets joining people in quarantine.

Later, the economy tanked and jobs were lost. Other animals became homeless and different Humane Society services were needed.

Summing up the fundraising evening was a thank-you sign in the video pet parade: “Mahalo for your help.”

Here are some upcoming virtual nonprofit fundraisers:

• Citizens Project Creating Community, Virtual Breakfast and Cocktail Hour, Aug. 27, 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Zoom and Facebook Live, citizensproject.org and Facebook.

• Pioneers Museum Give the Gift of History, live online, Aug. 27, 4 p.m., cspm.org/giftofhistory or donations mailed to 215 S. Tejon St. 80903.

• Shrimp Boil, to benefit Cheyenne Village, Aug. 28, virtual or possible in-person at Cheyenne Mountain Resort, cheyennevillage.org.

• Pasta on the Porch, TESSA, cooking competition judging at home, virtual silent auction, Aug. 29, 6:30 p.m., tessacs.org/pasta-2020/.

• Special Kids Special Families Night of Comedy, Oct. 10. Virtual. Comic Steve Mazan. Silent auction. sksfcolorado.org/event/noc.

Contact the writer: linda.navarro@gazette.com

• Fur Ball, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region. Aug. 1, 7 p.m. The signature fundraising gala, with a virtual Hawaii-Fid-O theme. Tune in from home for the fun and share selfies of outfits and your pets. Donations to support homeless, abused and neglected animals. hsppr.org.

• National Mill Dog Rescue Virtual Dog Jog. Aug. 22, 9 a.m.-noon. Pups and their humans head out on their own to run “at a park, around your neighborhood, in the mountains, or at home on a treadmill.” Run or walk, then go online for activities. Register for Dog Jog 2020 Facebook Group at nmdr.org.

•Citizens Project Creating Community Virtual Breakfast and Cocktail Hour, Aug. 27, 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., Zoom and Facebook Live, citizensproject.org and Facebook.

•Shrimp Boil to benefit Cheyenne Village, Aug. 28, possibly combining virtual or in-person at Cheyenne Mountain Resort, cheyennevillage.org

•Pasta on the Porch, TESSA, cooking competition judging at home, virtual silent auction, Aug. 29, 6:30 p.m., tessacs.org/pasta-2020/

• Special Kids Special Families Night of Comedy, Oct. 10. Virtual. Supports Zach’s Place program for kids with disabilities. Comic Steve Mazan. Silent auction. sksfcolorado.org/event/noc

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