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Barktoberfest Fundraiser Success Saturday
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Oakdale Shelter Pet Alliance supporter and sponsor, Jaydeen Vicente was bidding at the silent auction that they had at the Barktoberfest event to help raise funds for the homeless pets in Oakdale and Riverbank. VIRGINIA STILL/The News

The sun was shining and Fred Stepp and the Jammers band were playing live music to entertain the guests that attended the fifth annual Barktoberfest on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. to show support for the Oakdale Shelter Pet Alliance (OSPA) and the homeless pets in the area.

Anne and Ed Thiel volunteered to host the event outdoors at their home in Riverbank. This is the first time that Barktoberfest has been held in Riverbank. In past years the event has been held in Oakdale.

The event was created to raise funds for the homeless animals at the Oakdale Animal Shelter and homeless pets in the Oakdale and Riverbank communities.

The OSPA members were set up to greet all the animal lovers that attended the event, with some guests pre-registered and others registering as they arrived. Donations in any amount were welcomed as the ‘admission fee’ and were accepted at the door.

Sponsors that donated $250 or more received a bronze paw, $500 or more received a silver paw, and donations of $1000 or more received a gold paw commemorative keepsake.

Thiel’s brother Rick was on hand along with his co-pilots Gianna Thiel, 10, Tru Jackson, 4, and Ayla Jackson, 2, as they were transporting people to and from their cars by golf cart to help if someone had to park a little ways off.

The Barktoberfest featured a silent auction with several items available for the highest bidder and a 50/50 raffle that Riverbank Mayor Richard O’Brien enthusiastically sold.

Artist Virginia White, who is known for painting historic locations, donated an original watercolor painting of the old Del Rio Theater for the silent auction. White added a personal inscription on the back of the painting. O’Brien had the winning bid on the painting.

There were a few vendors set up including Jax n Sons Barkery, which offered candles and homemade dog treats. Nicole Rich had her Premier Design Jewelry set out for all to see.

Riverbank High School teacher, Al Scoles and students from his Introduction to Building Construction class and his Stage Craft class, constructed two custom dog houses. One of the houses looks just like a small home and the other is a Snoopy dog house that has been turned into a kids play area.

The Happy Tails Saloon served up beverages to guests that needed something to satisfy their thirst.

Food was also available to guests that worked up an appetite while mingling like an olive crudité, vegetables, crackers, cheeses, aram sandwiches, salami, and other items. For dessert you could try Karen O’Bannon’s chocolate covered fruit or cupcakes by Tami’s Tiny Treats out of Modesto.

The day was a success, according to OSPA members. They raised over $20,000 in combination with funds raised at the event, advance contributions, sponsorships, and over $8000 from the Strut Your Mutt event in San Francisco.

“What a great event we had,” said President of the OSPA, Betsie Corwin. “This will really help fund our low cost spay/neuter voucher program.

“With over 650 cats and dogs fixed since we started the program in August 2011, we hope to see the number of homeless pets decrease in the years ahead.”