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Gala, gifts draw fund $25,000 from goal

By Jim Buice
The Clemmons Courier

A most productive weekend has pushed the proposed Dog Park at Tanglewood within sniffing distance of a fundraising goal of $150,000.
Boosted by a $30,000 gift from Lowes Foods and Purina and proceeds of another $20,000 from last Friday night’s Dog Gone Good Time Party at WinMock in Kinderton, the thermometer at Tanglewood was elevated to $125,000 Sunday afternoon.
“It looks like we’ve got another $25,000 to go,” said Chuck Houska, project lead and one of the driving forces behind the park. “I estimate we reach our goal by the end of February.”
Certainly, the Jan. 20 event at WinMock provided the biggest overall financial bonanza with all 400 tickets sold at $50 a ticket for the gala event, which included music, dancing raffles and auctions. Forsyth County Commissioner Dave Plyler served as the auctioneer.
And the evening was topped off the with the blockbuster announcement that Lowes Foods and Purina were giving $30,000 to the proposed dog park.  
“I can tell you that Lowes Foods and Purina made the first step,” Houska said. “Without any prior conversations, they reached out to Mark Uren, director of the Forsyth Humane Society, and said they wanted to help.”
As for the party, he said that everyone there had a “dog-gone good time.”
Forsyth County donated 2.3 acres last July with the stipulation that the dog park be completed by the end of 2012. Plans call for separate large and small dog lots, an area for obedience classes, watering stations and pet waste valets.
By providing the land, the county asked the supporters to raise $150,000 to build the dog park.
Thanks to the weekend surge, the latest projection is that the ultimate fundraising number will be reached in the next month. The group is offering individuals the opportunity for individuals to buy an engraved brick for $125.
“The brick will contain up to three lines of copy so people can pay tribute to either a past or present pooch,” Houska said. “We will offer the bricks through May 5 regardless of when we reach our $150,000 goal.”
He said that organizers will be meeting with Stimmel and Associates in the next week or so to prepare an artist’s rendering of the entrance and to work on more details related to construction and planning.
Houska said that the plan now is begin construction sometime in the spring with a projected opening in June or July.