We caught up with Montreal’s Paws 4 A Cause co-chairs Justin Heitner and Nathaniel Devine to find out more about this wonderful young professional-run group that brings public awareness and fundraising for the Montreal SPCA and other animal welfare organizations; we also got the 411 on their upcoming Friday night soiree, a definite must-attend!
1. How did Paws 4 A Cause come about?
We are all animal lovers and have a strong association with the Montreal SPCA. Unfortunately, the organization gets $0 in funding from the government and they function fully on donations. They always have a limited budget, so we knew we had to get involved!
2. Who are the masterminds behind it?
If we tell you we’d have to kill you. Actually, we are 12 on the committee, with everyone filling a different and important role. We have Emilie Waxman (EM Events) and Emma Cusson (EMA) making sure our night is special, Brahm Mauer ensuring our bar is rocking, and Justin Heitner and Nathaniel Devine keeping it all together as Co-Chairs. The rest of the committee is Sam Avrith, Ashley Govan , Sebastien Gatti, Tanya Marsh, Alexis Levy, Cassie Levy, Alexandra Toulch, Jeremy Heitner and Diana Gabriel.
3. What is Paws 4 A Cause all about?
Obviously the money raised is key to the organization, but ensuring that everyone is talking about adoption instead of purchasing animals is just as important to us. There are tons of amazing animals that need homes, not only from the SPCA but from other great rescue organizations as well. We want to try and change people’s behaviour from buying animals to adopting animals.
4. How do you raise money?
All the money is raised through corporate and personal donations…and of course ticket sales!
5. Where do all the proceeds go?
Every year we pick a different facet of the SPCA that needs funding badly. This year, 100% of the proceeds are going to the Montreal SPCA Annexe. The Annexe’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and find loving homes for special needs or hard to place animals.
6. What is the most rewarding and challenging aspect of running this?
The most rewarding part is knowing that the money raised and awareness created has a direct correlation to saving lives. The most challenging is finding time in a busy schedule to actually put this event together. A lot of the other organizations have paid employees working on their events; we are 100% volunteer-based.
7. What can young professionals expect from this year’s event?
Great DJs, open bar, live art, Hype Energy and Aqua Hydrate refreshments, plus some great surprises! P4AC is about having fun; it is not a stuffy black tie affair, it’s just a great excuse for everyone to go out and have an awesome time for an awesome cause.
8. Any notable things happening this year aside from the main event on Friday?
We are working on some things…you’ll be seeing us around!
9. How can people get involved and help?
Make sure to come out to the event! If you can’t make it, then donations of any amount are more than welcome. People can buy tickets and donate at Paws 4 A Cause; be sure to like us on Facebook to keep up with what’s going on!