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Runner Amy Parker finishing the race with her two dogs.

On your marks. Get set. MEOW!

Sante D’or holds Race for the Rescues to save kittens lives

November 14, 2018

While entering the Rose Bowl parking lot, one could already see dogs, cats, pigs, and horses from about a mile away. People from all over Los Angeles came to the Oct. 20 Race for the Rescues event mainly because of the meaning of the fundraiser. “We participate in this event yearly and because we are a nonprofit organization,” said Gillian Lange, president of the Lange Foundation. “We need some kind of money flow to keep our organization going and this event helps with that.”

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The Sante D’or foundation selling their merchandise.

Sante D’or, another nonprofit involved in the event, is an organization well known across Los Angeles because it is one of the few animal shelters that does not euthanize any animals. The Sante D’or team, which includes many Clark students who work as volunteers, saves animals off the streets, attends to the injuries they might have, and puts them up for adoption to ensure they can have the best life possible.

Organizations like Sante D’or participate in the Race for the Rescues because not only is it for a good cause, it also raises a lot of money through direct donations through the Race for the Rescues website and also from a couple of longtime supporters doing match donations for select teams, like the rescue teen team, Ernie’s Angels.

“Race for the Rescues is one of the two major fundraisers Sante D’or participates in yearly, and since Sante D’or only receives funds only through donations, it is what we rely on so that our team can pay for the many vet visits we need to keep all of our animals healthy,” said board member Jemima Wechsler. Every year the rescue takes in more than one hundred kittens, which are expensive to care for.

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Christy Keefe, executive director of Sante D’or, said that the Sante D’or team spays and neuters every animal they take in and they also give them necessary vaccines. Most of these kittens come from the streets, which means the kittens are going to have health issues including fleas, worms, mange, and ringworm. Those treatments are expensive, so in order to take in so many kittens, the organization needs this race to raise enough money to pay for the treatments.

“We also have many seniors in our care who also need a lot of veterinary care,” Keefe said. “So far this year we’ve had about four dental surgeries that are very expensive. We try our best to give every single animal in our care all the vet attention they need, even if it means having our vet bills in the thousands every month. But without this race, we would not be able to do that, which is why it is so important for our rescue.”

The morning started with vendors from all over Los Angeles lined up selling their merchandise, which was from many different animal shelters that housed dogs, cats, horses, pigs, rabbits, and guinea pigs. Other vendors advertised their businesses dedicated to animals. Some of those businesses included animal groomers, car companies and even a group of artists that draw animals with commonly known characters bodies.

When the race was about to begin, all the participants began to line up and stretch for the 5K run. The lineup consisted of adults, children, teenagers and dogs. The first runner to finish the five-kilometer run from Sante D’or was Avery Baroussea, who finished in 24 minutes and 15 seconds, meeting her under 25-minute goal. “I am glad to run for this organization because I feel like how humans always live a great life so should animals,” said Baroussea, a freshman at Eagle Rock High School.

Tim Curran, another Sante D’or runner, acted as one of the two captains for the Race for the Rescues running team. He has been apart of Race for the Rescues since 2013, which was Sante D’or’s first year. Curran found a 27-pound cat stranded in the parking lot and knew the cat needed veterinary attention.

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The vendors are all set up at The Rose Bowl.

“I was worried that the rescue would not have the funding to care for this cat,” Curran said. “Thankfully, with the money raised from the race we were able to afford his vet bills and I ended up adopting the cat who has now lost seven pounds. He is the reason I partake in the race every year.”

Sante D’or partners up with Ernie’s Angels every year to help maximize the number of profits they make through the race. This year their goal was $2,500, but they raised more than $40,000 which not including their match-donations. Many of the people that make up Ernie’s Angels are teenagers who usually volunteer at Sante D’or.

Roshelle Edwards, the treasurer of Sante D’or, was pleased that the organization reached their $40,000 goal. “This money will not only go towards all the animals in our care but, to people with low income within our communities,” Edwards said. “We are going to save so many more lives with this money.”

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