Dogs and cats. Not perhaps the creatures we usually associate with February 14 (it’s all doves and lovebirds at this time of year), but nevertheless very deserving of your love. This week, we’re celebrating – and supporting – two rather unusual Valentine’s Day events in aid of the island’s canines and felines. Could this be your chance to let the animal in you run wild?
The dogs’ dinner
Our first event is entitled The Love Your Pooch Valentine’s Day Charity Night and it’s in aid of the Stray Haven Dog Rescue. Run by Nieske De Jonge, this Giolou shelter has rehomed more than 140 dogs over the last few years – sending them off to happy forever homes across Europe. But there are still more than 150 dogs on its books; dogs which need feeding, checking and sending off to the vet. And that costs!
Thankfully, Stray Haven does an excellent line in fundraising events, with treasure hunts, open days, dog walks, and entertainment evenings every other month. And this coming Saturday, February 8, it’s the Love Your Pooch dinner at the well-known Pentaras Restaurant on the Tombs of the Kings road.
“Back in December, we organised an evening at the Chalkies Bar nightclub, and raised about €1,700,” explains volunteer and event organiser Yvonne Miles. “This Saturday, we’re holding a dinner with live entertainment – including a disco with a local DJ – and will be running both a raffle and an auction as well.”
The main entertainment of the evening will be a two-hour comedy variety show hosted by local drag queen Vervette Newman. Featuring eight top artists, including singers, dancers and a Boy George tribute act, the event promises non-stop action all night long.
“You can book for the show and the buffet, or for the show alone,” explains Yvonne. “We’ve a nice cross-section of entertainment with something for everyone and, of course, all the money, every single penny, will be going to the Stray Haven Dog Rescue.” Making this a very worthy – and enjoyable – way to celebrate Valentine’s Day!
Love Your Pooch Valentine’s Day Charity Night
At Pentaras Restaurant, Chlorakas. Prepaid tickets are €18.50 (food and entertainment) or €8 (entertainment only). For more information and bookings, visit the Facebook event page Valentines Love your Pooch Charity Event or contact Yvonne on 99 034576
A purr-fect evening
Down on the southern coast, we’ve got the delightful Purr-fect Valentine’s Dinner and Dance. Taking place at the Flamingo Beach Hotel on February 14, the evening is all in aid of the non-profit group Friends of Larnaca Cats, a small group of dedicated volunteers and animal lovers.
The Friends support the many cat communities, abandoned cats, feral and street cats and kittens in the Larnaca area, feeding, neutering, vaccinating and treating them for parasites. Focusing on the St Lazarus, Mackenzie Beach and Salt Lake areas, they are completely reliant on donations. And, of course, the odd fundraising event: quiz nights, barbeques, and a dinner dance or two…
“We actually ran a dinner dance in aid of the Friends last Valentine’s Day,” says volunteer Barbara Mardell. “And it was so well-enjoyed, it’s now back by popular demand!” Starting at 7.30pm, the evening promises live entertainment beginning with DJ Tommy on the decks, followed by the musical stylings of the Nameless band and then Walter Litherland as the night progresses. “There’ll be plenty of tunes from the 60s, 70s and 80s,” says Barbara; “there’ll be lots of dancing, if 2019 is anything to go by!”
Dinner will be a four-course buffet, with oodles of soups, salads, pork chops, chicken, jacket potatoes and the like; dessert is apple crumble and custard or fruit; and there’s at least one glass of wine free with your meal. “It’s going to be a very jolly event,” says Barbara. “And of course everything we raise goes to the Friends of Larnaca Cats and their sanctuary in Alethriko.”
Purr-fect Valentine’s Dinner and Dance
Flamingo Beach Hotel on February 14. Tickets (prebooked only) are available from the hotel (call 24 828 208) and cost €25 per person. For more information visit the Facebook event page ‘Purrr-fect Valentine’s Dinner Dance’