The Elms showcases Animal Affair

Published 1:05 am Thursday, May 15, 2008

The public is cordially invited to a party at the historic home, The Elms, 801 Washington St., in downtown Natchez, this Saturday.

Sponsored by the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society, the Animal Affair is an important fundraiser for our organization, and all proceeds will benefit our local shelter at 392 Liberty Road.

Festivities begin at 6 p.m., and we’ll be celebrating Armed Forces Day that day with a red, white and blue theme. Open house receptions marked the original Armed Forces Day in 1949, and the tradition continues, honoring Americans serving in the United States Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard.

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We are planning to hold a silent auction during the party. Numerous items with an animal theme will be offered up for written bids, including original artworks, books, cozy throws and framed prints.

The entry fee is $25 per person plus a cash bar. Dress casually and come prepared to mingle with friends among the elegant surroundings of one of Natchez’s oldest grand houses.

The Elms originally sat on 100-plus acres, which now comprise a large part of downtown Natchez. The original Spanish-style portion of the house was completed in 1804. Prior to the Civil War, it became the home of David Stanton, brother of Frederick Stanton, who built Stanton Hall. In 1856, David Stanton added a two-story frame addition to The Elms plus a Greek Revival-style billard hall now separated from the main house by Washington Street.

In 1878, The Elms was purchased by Moseley J.P. Drake and succeeding generations of his relatives, the Kelloggs and Carpenters, have owned the home ever since. The Elms was a part of the 1932 “Garden Tour” that gave birth to the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage, and it remained on tour every year through 2005.

The Elms is now the home of Esther Carpenter, who has supervised recent extensive improvements to the house and grounds.

This fundraiser is one of many events we have throughout the year to raise awareness of our organization and the work we do for animal welfare. We’d like to remind everyone that there are many wonderful pets available for adoption at our local shelter. We’re open to the public from 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

A modest adoption fee of $45 for canines and $35 for felines includes the cost of spay or neuter.

Funds raised by our Animal Affair go toward feeding, sheltering and caring for the thousands of dogs and cats that come through our doors annually. We turn no animal away.

We operate the only full-service animal shelter in a 70-mile radius, providing adoptions, pet lost-and-found assistance and educational programs. NACHS has been serving the Miss-Lou for over 35 years.

So join us Saturday for an evening of food and fun. It’s a great way to start the summer. If you cannot attend, but would like to support our shelter, donations may be mailed to NACHS, P.O. Box 549, Natchez, MS 39121.

Over 75 percent of our revenue comes from individual donors, whose support is greatly appreciated.

Pat Cox is shelter manager and a member of the board of directors for the Natchez-Adams County Humane Society.