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Woofstock to benefit Frederick animal shelter

By Laetitia Clayton -- lclayton@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- Area residents and their canine companions have a chance to get out together and have some fun today while contributing to a worthy cause.

Students in the Arts Management class at Shenandoah University have partnered with the Frederick County Animal Shelter to host Woofstock '09, a fundraiser that will benefit the shelter and includes activities, music, food and, of course, pets. The event will be held from noon to 4 p.m. today at the Old Winchester Armory at 608 Millwood Venue.

Megan Cheresnowsky, a junior from Gloucester who is part of the class' communications team, said the goal is to raise at least a couple of thousand dollars for the shelter. The amazing part is that the class has pulled the event together without any money, she said.

"We have no budget at all," Cheresnowsky said. "Everything has been donated."

From the musicians who will perform at Woofstock to the people who will take tickets and help out in other ways, all are volunteering their time, she said.

The event is a class project and offers students an opportunity to work with the community, Cheresnowsky said, as opposed to just sitting in class with textbooks.

"Our whole class, we're taking a more hands-on approach to everything," she said.

With a new adviser, the students began planning the project in August at the beginning of the semester.

"Our adviser had the idea for the shelter," Cheresnowsky said.

The class is divided into three teams for the project: communications, fundraising and picketing and venue and talent. This is the first time a class at Shenandoah University and an outside organization have worked together on such a project, Cheresnowsky said. And although a lot of the students have done fundraisers in the past, this is the first one of this scale.

"So it's a little different for us," she said. "It's a new way to fundraise."

Several musical groups from Shenandoah University will perform at the event, including a bluegrass band, a string bass ensemble, a quintet and possibly a jazz group, Cheresnowsky said.

Proceeds from admission, an online auction and a live auction at the event will go toward purchasing new Kuranda dog beds for the comfort of the shelter animals.

Holly Grim, assistant manager of the shelter, said the Kuranda program is ongoing and people can donate a dog or cat bed to any animal shelter by visiting kuranda.com/donate.

"One [bed] has been donated so far through the program," Grim said. "We would love to have one for every dog run in the shelter, and we've got 48 of those."

Grim said staff from the shelter will be on hand at Woofstock with information and pictures of animals available for adoption.

For the students, the fundraiser will fulfill course requirements that include planning and hosting a fundraiser for the community.

"We're really excited about it and we hope it turns out well ... for the animal shelter," Cheresnowsky said.

Tickets for Woofstock '09 are $15. The cost for SU students, seniors and the SU community is $8. For tickets or to make a donation by phone, call the SU box office at 665-4569. For more on the event, visit www.woofstock09.com.



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