Whidbey Islanders open hearts, wallets to WAIF

JW Lyon and his dog, Picasso, greet Spring Fling guests. Lyon and his wife, Nancy, adopted Picasso from WAIF recently. - Photo courtesy of Susan Lindsey Cohen
JW Lyon and his dog, Picasso, greet Spring Fling guests. Lyon and his wife, Nancy, adopted Picasso from WAIF recently.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Susan Lindsey Cohen

Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation (WAIF) found enthusiastic support in the community for its Spring Fling 2011 fundraiser. Over $100,000 was raised at the June 4 event held at Useless Bay Golf and Country Club.

“This is by far the most funds raised at a WAIF Spring Fling and we owe it all to the support of our community,” said Merritt Atwood and Melene Thompson, co-chairs for the event, in a news release.

The 2011 Spring Fling honored WAIF’s 20th year of dedicated work for Whidbey Island’s homeless animals. According to Kit Maret, WAIF president, the money raised will help save critically ill animals and provide food, care and shelter for hundreds of animals housed at WAIF facilities throughout the year.

The community also stepped up in a big way for the Fund-A-Need portion of the auction. The funds raised will provide additional resources for extraordinary care and will help to support and expand WAIF’s Crisis Care and Prevent-A-Litter spay & neuter programs.

“Some families cannot afford crisis health care for their pets and so are forced by their financial situation to sadly give them up,” said Shari Bibich, WAIF’s shelter manager. “WAIF wants to help people keep their pets who mean so much to them.” The additional funds will expand WAIF’s Crisis Care program to afford that possibility.

The flood of donations for the auction was described as extraordinary. The silent auction offered more than 150 items from businesses and individuals throughout Whidbey. The live auction offered trips and items never before seen at a WAIF auction as well as many island favorites. Bidders were generous, and even those who could not attend sent in their donations.

“Chef Dave Blue of Useless Bay Golf and Country Club and Event Chair Dawn Ritter were exacting in every detail. Participants enjoyed the evening immensely,” said Bob Rupp, the new vice president of WAIF. Rupp officiated at the auction and offered to “vacuum pockets” with his Dyson handheld vacuum.

To see Spring Fling 2011 sponsors visit

“WAIF sincerely thanks everyone for your tremendous support,” said Maret.

WAIF brings pets, raises funds at the Oak Harbor Albertsons

WAIF will be at Albertsons with pets for adoption, to collect pet food and hold weekly raffles to raise funds for its new shelter on weekends in June between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Volunteers will bring dogs for adoption, sell raffle tickets, accept  cash contributions and donations of pet food.

During the week, Albertsons will accept cash contributions at the cashier stands and donations of pet food.

Currently, work is under way on the WAIF new shelter site. Dog walking paths and exercise areas are being prepared for use.

As funds are raised, work will continue to be done on site. Contributions help WAIF meet its goal to get the animals to their new home as soon as possible.


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