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Share the Shelter Music Festival Wrapup with Photos & Video

October 28, 2012 by Marla Burns

On Sep. 29, Shelter House for domestic violence and Alaqua Animal Refuge joined forces once again to hold the 2nd Annual “Share the Shelter” Music Festival. The event, sponsored by SoWal.com,  was created to raise much needed funds for both organizations, and to bring a higher level of awareness to the cycle of violence created by those who inflict abuse.

These organizations partnered just two years ago, and in that short time they've been able to accomplish wonderful things. Recently, Shelter House received a grant to build dog and cat housing at their facility, so victims of domestic violence in our community will no longer have to choose between their own safety and the safety of their pet.

Alaqua receives over 100 requests each day to take in animals that have no place to go, or are in abusive situations.

Laurie Hood, Founder/Executive Director of Alaqua says, “We recognize that there is a circle of violence that affects the entire family. Alaqua has targeted programs to recognize abuse, provide law enforcement with tools for successful investigations, providing education on the correlation between animal abuse and domestic violence, and ultimately prosecute the abusers. Share the Shelter is such an important event for both organizations and our partnership is key to making a difference."

The recent music festival, held at Gulf Place, raised nearly $34,000 for both charities. The day-long festival featured performances from local musicians, tents with area artists, and food vendors which attracted nearly 800 people. Attendees were invited to include their furry family members to join in the event as well.

"Music touches people in so many ways and brings people together for a common cause. We are so grateful to have had such amazing musicians, committee members and volunteers that were willing to share their time and talent and help spread awareness about domestic violence and animal abuse,” says Michelle Sperzel, Executive Director, Shelter House. "People often forget that domestic violence touches the entire family, including the family pets. When a woman leaves an abusive home and starts a new life, she is not only saving her own life, she is saving the lives of her children and animals. We are so proud of this year’s fest and its success, and look forward to next year!”

There are already plans in the works for a 3rd Annual Share the Shelter Music Festival next fall. Visit the Share the Shelter facebook page for daily updates, so you can mark your calendars and be sure to attend. There's also an exclusive 2012 Share the Shelter CD, featuring all this year’s musical artists, as well as a bonus track from Say the Word Poetry. It's still for sale and can be purchased for a mere $10 at Grayt Coffee House in Grayton Beach, Central Square Records in Seaside, and Furry Fanatics in Gulf Place.

Want to help Share the Shelter and Alaqua Animal Refuge, donate or volunteer your time? For more information visit their websites at www.alaquaanimalrefuge.org and www.shelterhousenwfl.org.

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Marla Burns

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