Restaurant and pet shelter hosts Valentine’s fundraiser

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Little Victories Animal Rescue’s annual Sweethearts’ Dinner, typically hosted at Rocco’s Ristorante in Ceredo, was forced to go remote this year. Still, organizers of the event said ticket sales and community support have been “overwhelming.”  

“We sold as many dinners as we can possibly think about handing out that night, and we have even more people who want to sign up,” Little Victories board member, Sarah Walling, said.  

Walling said board members were concerned about the event’s success if participants are unable to attend in-person.  

“Usually, it’s an opportunity to socialize, and we have a silent auction that goes along with it,” Walling said.” [This year], it’ll be almost like a drive-through and pick up at Rocco’s.”

Despite concerns, 234 dinners were purchased supporting the shelter to be picked up for the event Monday evening, Stephanie Howell, executive director of Little Victories, said.

Howell said event organizers sold tickets so quickly, and they had to end the selling period sooner than expected. 

“This is tremendous,” Howell said. “We are really excited about the support the community has given us.”  

Howell said all funding for Little Victories comes from donations and fundraisers and receives no state or federal funding. She said each dinner sold makes a difference due to the near-halt of their reliable sources of running the shelter.  

Howell said ticket prices were lower this year, and $25 of each sale will go towards sustaining Little Victories.  

“Usually, we charge 75 dollars, but that includes unlimited beer and wine and things like that when you’re in the restaurant,” Howell said. “Because you are not getting the experience of the restaurant, I could not justify the regular ticket prices.”  

Howell said community support for small local businesses is critical during the pandemic, even if some are unable to operate as usual.  

“It’s not the experience that people are used to in the restaurant, but it’s still going to support Little Victories, [and] it’s doing what we need to do more of in these days and times—supporting local businesses,” Howell said.

Isabella Robinson can be contacted at [email protected]