The Animal Welfare Alliance’s first “Cupcakes for a Pup’s Sake” bake sale created quite a lot of buzz, and not just because of its clever and wholesome title.
On Tuesday, March 10, the University of New Hampshire’s (UNH) Animal Welfare Alliance (AWA) held their fundraiser with the goal to “support UNH’s AWA fundraising and educational efforts to benefit animal welfare,” according to the flier for the event. The sale took place at Union Court from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Secretary of the AWA and junior zoology major Holly Hoag answered several questions about the organization and this specific fundraiser in an email to The New Hampshire. Hoag explained that she aimed to speak for the organization as a whole and shared an unofficial mission statement: “To benefit animal welfare through education, fundraising, and action.”
Fundraising has been a large part of the AWA for many years. Recently, they have had both a dog fair and a pet fair. Local shelters, groomers, pet stores and more had the opportunity to set up booths, and quite a few brought animals that could be adopted. Additionally, local restaurants donated food and community members brought their pets, consisting of mostly dogs and one cat and snake. The group shared that these events had a large turnout, and each raised about $2,000, with the proceeds from the dog fair being donated to the NHSPCA, and the proceeds from the pet fair to the Seacoast Area Feline Education and Rescue. Generous donations from local businesses also played a big role in these donation numbers.
In addition to fundraisers, the AWA has put on other unique animal-related events. Center for Wildlife, a wildlife rehabilitation non-profit based in Maine, has done presentations on campus several times.
“We have also had a raptor rehabilitator come in to present on the work she does with birds of prey,” Hoag said. “Both of these groups have brought live animals with them, which tends to boost our attendance.”
Some of the presentations held at this year’s fundraiser included topics such as zoos, veganism and the Australian wildfires. All of these presentations were either put together by executive members of the group or feature speakers, from organizations such as the New Hampshire Animal Rights League.
The money from the bake sale goes directly into AWA’s organization fund. “This money is used to put on some of our educational events, provide materials for any crafting projects we do in preparation for fundraisers and is the money that is donated to the organization our group decides upon,” they said.
The group raised $10 at Cupcakes for a Pup’s Sake.
“This is a learning experience for us,” Hoag said. “Last year, the large majority of our executive board graduated, so this year is all about rebuilding and figuring out which events work for our group and what we want the org to become in the future. Annually, we raise roughly $2000. Please keep in mind, this is a rough estimate and only takes into account the past two years.”
Hoag said the group was hoping to sell at least 10 baked goods to “break even.”
“One of the things that’s nice about tabling is that we’re just really getting our name out and people are learning about us and hopefully becoming interested in future events that we’re gonna put on,” she said. “The publicity is another big aspect of it so that we can get more members and just meet our goals easier with more people participating.”
In terms of joining AWA, the group said new members can join at any time during the year.
“We would love to expand our group and will always happily welcome new faces,” she said.