By Robbie Ward
TUPELO – Tupelo native and Americana singer Paul Thorn will show his love for the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society by donating an original piece of his unique art to this week’s fundraiser, the seventh annual Art for Animals.
Thorn, who has created art for some of his album covers, planned to deliver the animal-themed painting on plywood to event organizers today, which shows images of male and female dogs.
Included on the painting are the words, “Lust is instant but love takes time.”
Volunteers and supporters at the humane society are looking to raise money for a new facility with regular fundraisers and donations. Most of the land for the new location on Cliff Gookin Boulevard near the Thomas Street intersection has been donated, but money is needed for additional property and a building suited to meet the needs of the animal population in the Tupelo, Lee County and surrounding counties.
Summer Knight, chairwoman of the event and a first-year board member, said the event raised $20,000 last year and hopes the community support brings in $25,000 this year.
“We do several fundraisers a year and are committed to a new building,” she said. “It’s time to move forward and make it happen.”
With nearly $600,000 collected in donations through the years, members of the organization’s board of directors estimate needing up to $4 million for construction costs associated with a new facility.
Currently, the humane society operates in a crowded former veterinarian’s office. It holds about 200 animals, but 300-800 animals are brought there each month, Knight said.
That’s why humane society supporters place such priority on events like Art for Animals, which blend live music, a cash bar and heavy hors d’oeuvres and desserts by an acclaimed chef.
The gathering begins at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Goodlett Manor at 219 N. Broadway St. in Tupelo.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Tupelo-Lee Humane Society at 2400 S. Gloster St.; The Main Attraction on Main Street or at the door on Thursday.