The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of what would have been the 21st annual Food, Wine and Beer Festival.
ESCPA Executive Director Vickie Grantz said the festival typically raised about $60,000 a year for the organization, or about 25% of its budget.
“We were kicking around ideas on what we can do, what can we do, what can we do and every where you turn nationally in the animal industry is an Un-Festival,” she said of the event held in November. “When you work on a shoestring budget, you really can’t afford to lose any of it. We had to try to be creative on what we could put together. The other thing we thought about is how can we reach out to our business supports, our vendor supporters, because they’re hurting. What can we do to help them?”
The answer came in the creation of the Enid SPCA Paw-liday Gift and Fun and Guide.
“Our plan for this is to reach out to local business to see what we can do to help promote their business and, in turn, can they donate something that we could use as an action item or some of them are doing experiences,” she said.
Grants said Enid Brewing Company is working on a tasting event that the ESPCA will be able to sell tickets to and Enid Brewing Company will be able to sell tickets to future events if they choose to have more of those events.
“There really isn’t any business that couldn’t have something that could fall into that category, or offer an experience,” Grantz said. She said the hope was to get businesses exposure through their offered experience, which could lead to more interactions with customers. “Our goal is to help them get them back on their feet.”
Grantz said the hope is to get all of their donated items and experiences together by mid-September to ensure they are included in the Paw-liday Gift Guide.
“We will be looking for businesses willing to reach out with a donated item or who are interested in putting together an experience for the event,” she said. “They could certainly reach out to us if they have something to submit. That all goes toward funding what we do, which is saving the lives of animals who have nowhere to go.”
The goal is to have the guide released in early November.
“It will be available in paper format as well as electronic,” she said. “There will be a small donation asked for the catalogue.”
The purchase of a guide will also enter the buyer into a raffle.
“We’re hoping that people will see the value in being able to be part of an experience of something or the auction,” she said. “We will have some auction items that will be online. We hope to have a smaller element of live auction, as well.”
To donate items, email firstname.lastname@example.org and in the subject line write “Un-Festival.”
“Somebody will get back with them ASAP to answer any questions they have regarding that,” Grantz said. “We’re out knocking on doors talking to people now.
“I don’t think any of us know what the future is going to hold,” she said. “It’s important we try to continue to do what we do.”