Reverse raffle drives funds for pets

BROOKFIELD — The Healthy Hearts and Paws Project hosted its third annual reverse raffle and dinner at Tiffany’s Banquet Center on Friday.

Unlike an ordinary raffle, where the first person drawn wins, the last person drawn wins in a reverse raffle.

Jason Cooke, founder of the Healthy Hearts and Paws Project, said the money raised will be used to care for the animals and to “benefit the Healthy Hearts and Paws Project.”

“We treat heartworm positive and medical needs dogs and cats,” he said. “We’re also building a new shelter on Martin Luther King Boulevard in Warren.”

Kim Briggs has been a Healthy Hearts and Paws Project volunteer for more than five years and said the raffle helps the rescue afford food and vet bills.

“This event makes me feel good that we’re bringing in revenue to give these animals better lives,” she said.

Cooke said he was hoping to raise $10,000, which he said is the amount they usually raise every year.

He said this year’s raffle baskets included “restaurant gift cards, Christmas themed baskets, baskets for people that have dogs, cats (or) kids, baking and anything and everything you could imagine.”

“We have 130 baskets, which they’re all very nice baskets,” he said.

He also said they had cash giveaway raffles.

“Somebody tonight has walked away with essentially $5,000,” he said. “We have the cash reverse raffle and we also have a $10 sideboard.”

Cooke said the baskets were donated by individuals and businesses in the area.

The dinner included baked chicken, pulled pork, eggplant parmesan, green beans and roasted potatoes, according to Tiffany’s Banquet Center manager Sandy Superak.

Cooke’s longtime friend and singer Leanne Binder also performed at the fundraiser.

“I am a huge animal lover and anytime I get a chance to help our little furry friends out, I like to do it,” she said.

Some who showed up and purchased raffle tickets were excited to help the animals by giving money to the cause, including Cindy Costantino of Warren.

“I’m an animal lover and I’ll support anything that has to do with helping animals,” she said. “It’s for a good cause.”

Sarah Bosley of Vienna is a medical foster for Cooke’s rescue and said she attended the event to support Cooke and the agency.

“A lot of animals Jason will get in are hit by a car or malnourished and I’ll take them in and nurse them back to good health so they’re adoptable,” she said.


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