Eau Claire Co. Humane Association kicks off annual holiday fundraiser

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Adoptable pets, free beer, and good times.

On Sunday, The Brewing Projekt in Eau Claire hosted the start of Santa Paws the annual holiday fundraiser put on by the Eau Claire County Humane Association.

"Santa Paws is our largest fundraiser of the year and the paws range from $5 to $100 and are handcrafted by our volunteers,” said Shelle Janke, executive director of the Eau Claire Humane Association. “They feature a picture of an animal that has been adopted from our shelter over the past year."

While the fundraiser has been going on for several years, the idea of a kickoff started with Brewing Projekt employee, Taylor Pieper.

"We've done the Santa Paws event in the past, but I thought it would be kind of nice if we did a kickoff event so that we had more people coming in and so they knew we were doing it,” Pieper said.

Sunday, the brewery donated $1 from every beer sold to the Eau Claire County Humane Association and they also have a special offer if you buy an ornament throughout December.

If you buy an ornament off of the tree, you get a free beer.

There were hundreds of people at the event, and they say it feels good to give back during the holidays.

"I came out to buy one of these lovely ornaments,” said Randi Riedel. “The money goes to the Eau Claire Humane County Association to help out these kittens, whether it is a spay or neuter, treats, toys, vet fees…"

Organizers say it is great to see the community support their cause.

"It’s absolutely wonderful,” said Tracey Newhouse, who works at the shelter. “The community is so supportive and we can’t do this without the community or without our volunteers."

Each year the fundraiser raises more than $25,000 for the Eau Claire County Humane Association.