On what seemed like the warmest day in months, the weather wasn’t the only thing fueling sunny dispositions on campus.
As crowds began to gather on the lawn in front of the University’s chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity house Friday, a Siberian Husky lying on the ground howled his displeasure as the cluster of students who had been petting him took a two-second break.
The puppies had arrived.
More than 500 people attended the second annual Puppies on the Porch fundraiser hosted by the University’s chapter of Pi Beta Phi women’s fraternity and Sigma Chi fraternity. Proceeds from the event went to First Book, which provides new books for low-income families; the Huntsman Cancer Foundation; and the Lenawee Humane Society, a non-profit, no-kill shelter in Adrian, Mich., which provided five adoptable puppies for the event.
Rebecca Nichols, the Lenawee Humane Society’s shelter manager, said Puppies on the Porch is unlike any other event the shelter has participated in.
“We do a couple of adopt-athons, but we’re doing more lately (and) this is definitely the best one,” Nichols said.
LSA sophomore Brianna Smith, the vice president of philanthropy for Pi Beta Phi, said the event is great for the charities, great for college students who do not have many opportunities to see dogs at school and a great opportunity for the Humane Society’s puppies to play.
“Their puppies get a chance to socialize. Because they’re cooped up in the Humane Society all day, they don’t really get a chance to come out, and they also advertise and let people adopt their puppies here,” Smith said. “It’s a really good deal for all of us.”
Smith said awareness for the event was proliferated through social networking and added that she hopes the event can continue to branch out to students outside of Greek Life.
At the inaugural Puppies on the Porch in 2012, rain kept most participants indoors and under an awning. This year the weather was perfect for an outdoor event, and the entire front yard of the fraternity house was filled.
Engineering sophomore Connor Toohey, the philanthropy chair for Sigma Chi, said the event raised more than $1,000 was raised for the charities through pre-sale tickets alone. After factoring in raffle tickets and the influx of attendees buying tickets throughout the course of the event, $2,165 was raised in all.
Marisa Gallardo, a senior shelter attendant at the Lenawee Humane Society, said shelter staff were particularly happy to bring Casper, a pit bull mix who is deaf.
“We’re trying to teach him hand signals right now, and it seems to be working,” Gallardo said. “We’re trying to raise money to get him a vibrating collar.”
LSA freshman Ali Meisel said she was glad that the good weather ensured the event would be lucrative.
“It’s the best fundraiser because college kids never get to see dogs.”