“I've always had the idea that we could do something like this,” says Patton Avenue Pet Company Owner and fundraiser organizer Jenna Yarosh. “It was only recently that we've had the right team to actually do it.”
But this isn't just a straightforward dog calendar, Yarosh shares. It's a dog calendar for Asheville. With a photo of a shaggy dog wearing hipster glasses sitting next to a nearby cup of joe outside of West Asheville's Waking Life, this calendar is going to the dogs — along with the proceeds.
“There's going to be a burlesque one, a bluegrass dog, a dog at Bele Chere — maybe sitting next to a pile of fried food,” Yarosh hints. “Of course, there will be a beer dog. We're trying to hit all of the Asheville stereotypes in the good way, highlighting all the local characters.”
The hope is that these local characters will raise $50,000 for Brother Wolf Animal Rescue, a nonprofit no-kill animal shelter. But first, the calendars have to get printed.
Recently, Yarosh launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise the necessary $3,000 to cover the printing costs by the end of June. However, Yarosh says, she would like to raise closer to $5,000.
“Ideally, our goal is to print 3,000 calendars. If we can't raise the $5,000, though, we're going to have to reevaluate what we can do. In the meantime, we'll be working throughout the summer to finish taking all the photos so we can send them to the printer in August,” she says.
The photos for the Dogs of Asheville calendar are being taken by Sheryl Mann of Flying Dogs Photography. Yarosh tells Xpress that Mann was the perfect photographer for the job. When Mann isn't doing fine arts photography, she volunteers her time taking adoption photos of rescue and shelter animals in need of a forever home.
“When you go into a shelter, you just see rows and rows of dogs. But when she can get a photo one individually, that helps them got adopted so much faster,” Yarosh says. “ “She takes so much of her time to capture the personalities of these dogs.”
And personality, Yarosh says, is not only what makes these rescue dogs unique, but Asheville so special. It's a word the pet store owner uses to describe Brother Wolf.
“I believe in their mission. They have the heart,” she says. “Brother Wolf is operating completely on donations. So giving a few dollars here and there really helps. They spread it thin and goes to the right places.”
A $22 donation to the Indiegogo campaign guarantees a calendar and larger donations include extra items like mugs, art prints and even the chance to guarantee the donor's dog gets its month in the calendar. Though Yarosh wants to meet the $5,000 goal, she says every act —monetary or otherwise— that helps Brother Wolf is what the calendar is all about.
“If you don't have money to buy the calendar, foster a dog or a cat, go walk a dog once a week. Anything to help the organization is going to be appreciated.”
Caitlin Byrd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 251-1333, ext. 140.
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