031419_furbabies

Victoria Holloway and her dog, River, are pictured. The dog was adopted during the charity event Fur Babies and Fashion last year. The event will return from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23 on the Beach Village Green on Jekyll Island.

Four paws can change one’s life forever. Just ask Victoria Holloway.

She met her dog, River, during a charity event her mother, Tina, and co-host Brittany Tribuzio organized last year called Fur Babies and Fashion. Since that time, the pup has gone from being unloved and abused to quite the pampered pooch.

“Life would certainly not be same without our River. Every day is an adventure with him and definitely something I look forward to every day. He’s a sweet boy,” Victoria said.

“He’s always wagging his tail. He just gives us so much joy.”

Her mother, Tina, agrees.

“River is just the light of our lives. He was actually a puppy, and he’s just come a long way. We love him so much,” Tina Holloway said.

Creating these types of bonds and helping pets find forever homes was a goal when Holloway and Tribuzio first teamed up for the event. Held on the Jekyll Island Beach Village Green, the fundraiser benefited No Kill Glynn County, a local nonprofit animal rescue organization. The group brought a number of adoptable animals that were paired with models representing the various businesses in the Village.

Holloway, who manages Seaside Sunglasses, and Tribuzio, owner of Brittany’s Closet, wanted to do something that would promote business within their close knit community and also help out a worthy cause.

“Brittany and I wanted to bring some business to the Beach Village, but we also wanted to help a nonprofit in our community,” Tina Holloway said. “No Kill Glynn County does a lot here so that was the top of my list. Brittany and I talked about it and went with it from there.”

Last year’s event, held in April, was a rousing success, facilitating a number of pet adoptions and donations for No Kill Glynn County. It also shined a light on the small businesses that occupy the Beach Village.

“There was a lot of positive feedback and a lot of animals getting adopted. But when we had it in April, it was on the same weekend that everything was happening in Glynn and McIntosh counties,” Holloway said with a laugh. “So this year, Brittany thought we should look at doing it in March.”

They set the date — from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 23. It will still be held on the Village Green and will feature more than a dozen local businesses. In addition to the fashion show, models will showcase cats and dogs from No Kill Glynn County, as well as Glynn County Animal Control.

“It will be a fashion show with models showing items from the businesses whether that’s carrying a cooler or wearing sunglasses, then we will tell them where they can find them,” Tribuzio said.

“Stores will also offer discounts that day so it brings awareness of what each store offers without people having to go in and out of each one. Then, the animals walk with the models on stage. We’re hoping to have a lot more animals this year since last year they were spread out between events.”

A raffle and prizes will also be a big draw. Those include an Island Treasure, a glass sphere unique to Jekyll Island, as well as a two-night stay at the Westin. Gifts from various the stores will be available as well. Raffle tickets are $5 for single entries or $20 for $25.

“Last year, we put containers in front of each item so all people had to do was buy their tickets and put them in the container,” Holloway said.

“We’ve got everything from hours of play at Pinball Palace to two night stays at hotels,” Tribuzio said.

“We have everything from private tennis lessons to restaurant gift cards ... so it really runs the spectrum. People have been so supportive of this event and it’s amazing what No Kill Glynn means to the community ... everyone wanted to help. And I just can’t say enough about them.”

And if people cannot be present to participate, they can still donate to the cause by visiting Ameris Bank on Jekyll Island and making a monetary gift to No Kill Glynn County.

Those who volunteer with the organization are certainly appreciative of any amount offered. Theresa Ellis, board member and adoption coordinator, says that there is still a high volume of homeless animals who need help and every cent counts.

“When we started, we saw a need to help animals who somehow found themselves homeless. That’s those who are strays or who were abandoned or surrendered,” she said.

“The focus for us mostly has been on cats because that has been the greatest need in the county. We’ve been able to advert a lot from Animal Control and also help owners with pet retention too, keeping pets in the homes.”

This year, No Kill Glynn and Animal Control will bring both cats and dogs to be featured. All of the animals, Ellis says, are deserving of happy lives.

“It is really important ... they would all make really good, sweet pets. They just need to be loved,” Ellis said.

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