Nothing Can Sink Second Annual GDHS Fur Ball

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by Lorraine Payette, written on July 19, 2013

(ROCKPORT, ONTARIO) It looked like a job for Noah’s ark on July 19 when the skies opened over Rockport and the winds came up. But a severe thunderstorm wasn’t about to put the Gananoque and District Humane Society’s (GDHS) second annual Fur Ball aground.

“I came here to support the animals, and to have a good time,” said Irene Van Oyen, dressed stunningly as a tuxedo cat. And that’s exactly what everyone did.

From tiny tigers to raccoons, Puss in Boots to Fire Cats, no one was going to let a little bad weather stand in their way. In spite of the storm, in spite of the lack of music due to a lack of power, in spite of having to stay inside a restaurant instead of out on the water, many guests stayed on and enjoyed themselves.

“We’re going to try it again,” said Arlene Massey of GDHS. “The Rockport Boat Line has offered us another boat for August 30 at 6:00 pm, and we’re seeing if R Banned will be available to come out and play. We will be contacting as many people as we can who either bought tickets and stayed, to thank them for their great support and offer them the new cruise, or bought tickets but did not ask for a refund and left because they really wanted to go for our cruise, those who didn’t make it to Rockport at all because of storm warnings, and those who did show up with tickets already purchased asking about a rain date or possible refund. We got a lemon in terms of weather but we want to thank all of our supporters and give them the good time that we promised, and they deserved.

“We’ll issue a more formal announcement later, thanking our stoic supporters and offering them the same great cruise at the height of summer hopefully minus the giant black cloud and buckets of rain. We were basically unable to go – and it was the captain’s call since he is responsible for the safety of passengers and the boat, and his concern was being able to dock at the end without causing damage due to the high wind blowing in the worst direction for docking in a tight space.”

In spite of everything, those in attendance had a wonderful time, watching the water and getting to know each other better.

“Who needs a boat?” said Puss in Boots, who preferred to remain unidentified. “When it’s for a good cause and you’re among friends, you can have a wonderful time no matter where you are.”

Various events are held in addition to the Fur Ball, including an adopt-a-thon where they try to find homes for mature animals, the annual fall dinner which is a major fundraising event, Cookies-Crafts-and-Critters, and a various special events which promise to be different, fun and highly interesting. Demand for services is up, especially after 22 kittens were left on their doorstep earlier this year, and that makes fundraising all the more important.

“We can’t fight Mother Nature, but we can make sure everyone has a good time,” said Massey. “We’ll be sure to let everyone know all the details for August 30.”

With new openings a definite possibility, please contact the shelter and see what is available. Tickets sell for $25 each, and may be purchased through the event coordinator, Arlene Massey at (613) 923-1953 or ,Cornwall’s Pub in Rockport at (613) 659-2338 or at the Shelter. Please drop in at 85 Hwy 32, Gananoque, ON K7G 2V3 between 9:00 a.m. and noon, Monday – Saturday, or call (613) 382-1512. For more on the Shelter itself and how you can help, please go to or visit their Facebook page.


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