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Shelter marks 10th anniversary with Fido Ball fundraising event

| Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, 4:01 a.m.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
White Oak Animal Safe Haven Board members, from left, are Victor DiLullo, president Ina Jean Marton, Dan Borsch, Christine Hagemann and David Spurgeon.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Hope Markiewicz adjusts a sequined scarf on her Doberman Pinscher therapy dog Posh, as friends Patty Stovar, Kim Lindner and Karen Boros watch.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Danielle Boord, Bonnie Sokolovic and Laura Sokolovic of Three Rivers Hospice and Family Home Health brought Anastasia, a Rottweiler therapy dog, to the Fido Ball for portraits with guests.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald talks with Fido Ball guests Janet and Bob Baum of McKeesport.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Artist Frankie Dumm creates an original image drawing on themes from Vincent VanGogh's classic 'Starry Night' for Paintings with a Twist owners Nicole and Jamie Orlando during Saturday's Fido Ball.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Fido Ball guests Jennifer DiGiovanni and Scott Nash check out mystery gift boxes with White Oak Animal Safe Haven volunteers Jill Jackson and Joanne Feldmeier.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Representing the borough of White Oak, from left, are Patty Wells Gruber, Rich Gruber, Rich Bryce, Lori Bryce, Donna Wagner, Ron Massung, Ken Peoples, Edward Babyak and Charlotte Babyak.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Browsing basket auction items, from left, are Amy Hoffman, Dr. Rudy Antoncic, Susan Salada and Ruth Antoncic.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
White Oak police Chief Lou Bender and his wife Chrissy Bender are served their first course at Saturday's Fido Ball.
Jennifer R. Vertullo | Daily News
Lynn and Tom Lasch of McKeesport try take a chance on auction prizes to benefit White Oak Animal Safe Haven during Saturday's Fido Ball.

White Oak Animal Safe Haven marked a decade in business with its 11th annual Fido Ball on Saturday at Stratigos Banquet Centre.

More than 200 supporters of the no-kill shelter purchased $50 tickets to have dinner and enjoy two performances by the show and dance group The Holidays.

“This is our biggest fundraiser,” shelter founder and White Oak Mayor Ina Jean Marton said. “It helps to pay our veterinary bills. It helps to keep us running the shelter the way we would like.”

They heard from guest speaker, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, whose administration supports what the shelter does.

“We're the only no-kill shelter that is allowed on any Allegheny County park,” Marton said. The shelter along Lincoln Way leases land that is part of the county's White Oak Regional Park.

“They are very proud and happy of what we have done in the park,” Marton said. “They are so good to us.”

A Chinese auction was held as part of the event, a fundraiser that allows the shelter to operate without needing any state funds.

“We had one (Fido Ball) before the shelter was actually opened,” Marton said. “When we opened the building in 2003, the building was paid for.”

Saturday's dinner was a chance to honor the volunteers who come out to the shelter. Marton said more than 50 volunteers work there in the course of a year.

“Everyone is so dedicated to that shelter,” the founder said. “People come in on holidays, people come in at night. They are all so wonderful.”

Still, she added, “we would like to have more volunteers.”

The no-kill shelter was opened on Sept. 21, 2003, with a goal of saving homeless and stray animals. Marton said that remains the goal.

Those seeking more information about the shelter can check the website or call the shelter at 412-672-8901.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or

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