Unique Auction Travel Packages Help Pet Foundation Raise Over $250,000 at Annual “Blocktail” Party

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Nearly 700 partygoers along with their four-legged friends attended the 9th annual benefit event in support of the BISSELL Pet Foundation.

Winspire was so wonderful to work with, and we can’t wait to work with them again next year!

In its biggest year yet, the BISSELL Blocktail Party hosted guests and their favorite pets to raise more than a quarter million dollars to support animal welfare organizations across West Michigan. The event, known as the “BEST DOG-GONE Party in Town”, was held on the lawns at Mangiamo! and featured live entertainment, a photo booth, a one-of-a-kind silent auction and scrumptious “yappetizers” for both pets and their humans.

“New this year was the ability to bid from your mobile device,” said Mara Rasikas who sits on the committee of the Foundation, “We also had ‘pet painting’ by Dawn Omboy and we introduced our first ‘Blocktail Cocktail’ party drink.”

Silent auction items included 4 unique Winspire travel Experiences, including a Saks Fifth Avenue NYC Shopping Spree, New York Amazing Long Weekend, Telluride (Colorado) Luxury Dream Vacation and a Wine Tasting Experience in Napa Valley. All told the four Experiences helped raise $4,750 for the cause.

“Attendees loved the vacation packages offered in our silent auction,” Mara Rasikas continues, “Winspire was so wonderful to work with, and we can’t wait to work with them again next year!”

The BISSELL Blocktail Party was founded in 2005 by a group of animal advocates to support local, West Michigan animal welfare organizations. Funds from this year’s party were awarded as grants to 14 organizations including:

  • *Community Spay Neuter Initiative Partnership (C-SNIP): $45,000
  • *Humane Society of West Michigan: $40,000
  • *Vicky’s Pet Connection: $27,000
  • Pound Buddies (Volunteers for Muskegon County Animal Control): $19,500
  • *Kent County Animal Shelter: $18,845
  • West Michigan Spay & Neuter Clinic: $18,000
  • *Crash’s Landing & Big Sid’s Sanctuary: $12,500
  • *Safe Haven Humane Society: $10,000
  • Lake Haven Rescue: $10,000
  • *Reuben’s Room Cat Rescue: $6,750
  • *Carol’s Ferals: $5,000
  • Kelley’s Heart to Heart: $5,000
  • *Focus on Ferals: $5,000
  • “Blocktail Buddies” each received an additional $1,000 gift earlier in 2014 to recognize their dedication to animal welfare.

ABOUT BISSELL Pet Foundation

The BISSELL Pet Foundation is a charitable 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to help reduce the number of animals in shelters and to support organizations dedicated to the humane care and treated of animals through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, microchipping and foster care. Founded in 2011 by Cathy Bissell, the BISSELL Pet Foundation is an extension of her long-standing love for animals and commitment to their welfare. The foundation is supported by BISSELL Homecare, Inc., a 137-year-old Grand Rapids-based floor care appliance brand in its fourth generation of family leadership. For more information, visit bissellpetfoundation.org


Winspire provides unique once-in-a-lifetime travel Experiences for nonprofits to use in benefit auctions and other charity fundraising events. This increasingly popular fundraising tool allows organizations to place exclusive travel packages in their fundraisers without any upfront cost. Since organizations purchase only the packages they sell, Winspire Experiences can be used without risk at live auctions, silent auctions, raffles and any number of fundraising events.

Since 2008, Winspire has been involved in more that 25,000 events and has helped raise over $30 million for charity with these Experiences. More than 55,000 satisfied winning bidders have purchased and enjoyed Winspire packages, which include such Experiences as award shows, major sporting events, VIP access, family vacations, international trips, cruises and hundreds more. The Winspire Booking & Concierge Service provides winning bidders with a team of seasoned travel professionals to handle all travel-related details and reservations for every Experience. For more information, please visit http://www.winspireme.com

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