"Art’s Meow" To Help Grow Medical Fund For Felines

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Alice Fund, a local nonprofit that assists cat owners in financial need, will host its fourth annual Art's Meow, a showcase of feline-themed artwork created and contributed by area artists, this coming Sunday.  All pieces are original, in a variety of styles and mediums and all are available for purchase. The sale will be presented in the Coolidge Park Walker Pavilion, from noon-4 p.m.  More than 75 artists and art galleries have been asked to contribute pieces. 

"Not so long ago, the fundraising plan for The Alice Fund consisted of donation jars placed next to cash registers. Contributions made by grateful recipients and supporters of the nonprofit's generosity added to the mix.  Both sources of support are still around and are still greatly appreciated.  Today, as the need for Alice Fund services grows, members of our Chattanooga nonprofit are hoping the passions of cat-loving and art-loving area residents will unite to widen our fundraising capacity," officials said.

Local artists offering pieces include Sandra Babb, Maddin Corey, Olga de Klein and Dana Shavin. Area studios contributing pieces include the Hart Gallery, Arts Build and Uptown Art.

"A portion of each sale will be donated to The Alice Fund to help cats and owners in need – cats like Darlene, as she eventually came to be named. Darlene was only a kitten when a driver swerved to miss hitting her as she wandered aimlessly by the roadside.  The good samaritan stopped to investigate and discovered that the kitten’s eyes were matted shut.  She couldn’t see. 
The rescuer rushed the stray to The Cat Clinic where veterinarian and Alice Fund Founding Advisor Marcia Toumayan determined that Darlene’s eyes had been so badly damaged that they had to be removed. Dr. Toumayan and another Chattanooga veterinarian did the necessary surgical procedures and follow-up.  

"Darlene’s prognosis was good. Though blind, Darlene recovered completely and was adopted by a family. As with most extensive medical care, there was still the issue of the cost of surgery, medications, rehabilitation and more however.  

"That’s where The Alice Fund comes in: It helps pay for Darlene, and other cats like her, whose owners can’t pay for medical treatment. Several area veterinarians have partnered with Dr. Toumayan and the Cat Clinic to provide reduced-cost care, with The Alice Fund and owners paying the balance," officials said.

Started in 2008 and named in honor of a feral cat named “Alice,’ The Alice Fund mission is to provide medical care to cats whose owners and caregivers would otherwise lack the resources to access medical services for the cats under their care

“By accepting donations from generous cat lovers, The Alice Fund gives contributors a way to extend their love for cats to those in need,” said Dr. Toumayan.

It’s a need that is growing each year, officials said. According to Alice Fund Board President Kathy Allison, the nonprofit has already helped nearly double the number of needy cases this year, as in 2016. She cites awareness of The Alice Fund as well as an increase in need as the reason. The Alice Fund has assisted more than 60 cat households this year. 

For additional information on The Alice Fund and Art’s Meow, contact Kathy Allison, Alice Fund board president, at kathy@thealicefund.org, or Mary Lockhart, Alice Fund Marketing, at mary@thealicefund.org.

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