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WO Animal Safe Haven celebrates 8th Fido Ball

| Monday, Oct. 18, 2010

More than 100 guests gathered in elegant attire to celebrate their love for animals.

White Oak Animal Safe Haven hosted its eighth annual Fido (Feline) Ball Saturday evening at Yougiogheny Country Club.

"I'd like to thank everyone involved for their dedication, contributions and support," event chairwoman Ina Jean Marton said.

"It was an awesome night," event co-chairman Frank Sabolcik said. "We did very well. We doubled the crowd from last year. I'm very pleased. I'm beyond words. I'm so happy."

Sabolcik shared emcee duties with Steve Galaski.

"It's a privilege to do this," Galaski said. "I enjoy it and support the cause. I've been here since the day they broke ground for the shelter. I'm glad to help Ina in any way I can."

Animal-loving U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, was in attendance with his wife Nan.

"I've been a supporter for many years," he said. "My first job was cleaning out horse stalls when I was a kid. I've had dogs my whole life. They really warm up a home."

Rise Chontos, president of the animal rescue organization In Care of Cats, showed her support for WOASH.

"In Care of Cats and White Oak Animal Safe Haven have worked together many times on behalf of the area's homeless animals," she said.

"As a no-kill shelter, we highly regard their work and hope together we can all make a difference for the area's mistreated and unwanted domestic animals."

Chontos added, "It's a beautiful party."

Entertainment was provided by Dancing Queen. Three Rivers Hospice and Family Home Health Services certified therapy dog Anastasia also helped by singing "Happy Birthday" to guests who have an October birthday. Dressed in her autumn colored attire, the Rottweiler also posed for photos with party-goers for a $5 donation to the shelter.

Pat Connelly performed the invocation prior to dinner. There was also a silent auction, Chinese Auction and 50/50 raffle.

"The shelter always has been a dream of mine," Marton, who also is WOASH president and founder, said. "That was to save animals and be their spokesperson. My dream did, in fact, come true and thus the shelter was born.

"Back on Sept. 21, 2003, when the shelter was just opened, this dream became a reality. Since then until the present, we have adopted out over 8,000 animals. Where would they be if it weren't for this shelter• And, believe me, I didn't build this shelter by myself. It was by the grace of God that this all came about."

"It was an astronomical feat for her," Galaski said of establishing WOASH.

"It takes people with a passion to make this work," said Murphy, who said community support also is essential.

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