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Four-legged models set to hit the runway

Winter boots are all the rage for our four-legged friends.

Dogs will strut their stuff on the catwalk Sunday in a fundraiser for Animal Aid and Rescue Foundation of PA. The organization provides financial assistance to individuals and rescues to offset the cost of spay, neuter and medical expenses. It also gives sanctuary to adoptable and not adoptable animals.

Five students from Penn State’s School of Hospitality Management’s Advanced Meetings and Events class organized the furry fashion show during the fall semester.

We also all really love animals, so we thought it would be great to help them.

Katherine Kauffman, Penn State student

“I tell students that events such as this are typically planned a year or more in advance and they usually have at least a base budget,” class instructor Jackie Golas said. “They’ve had less than 15 weeks and a zero budget.”

The class gives a handful of students an opportunity to create a fundraising event every year. Prior beneficiaries include Pencils of Promise and Operation Military Kids.

Walk-ins with their pets can also watch the show for $10.

“The students afterward have said that by doing this it determines if they really want to do this for a living,” she said. “It gives them that real hands-on experience. If they can do this they can do any event. It might only be one day for a few hours versus multiday conventions, but they’re also doing it with much less resources and time.”

The experience reaffirmed junior Katherine Kauffman’s decision to pursue event planning.

“Absolutely, this has been great,” Kauffman said. “When you’re planning on a zero budget, talking to businesses about donations, doing the marketing by yourselves and getting people to come it takes a lot of commitment and shows us what we have to do to have an event. It’s been very valuable for all of us.”

The decision to incorporate dogs into their project was the easy part.

“(AARFPA) actually reached out to us and were really excited to work with us,” Kauffman said. “We also all really love animals, so we thought it would be great to help them.”

About 40 people preregistered to attend and watch 12 dogs compete on the runway, according to Golas. Walk-ins with their pets can also watch the show for $10. Dogs can also get pictures with Santa, caricature drawings, win raffle prizes and meet local vendors.

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli

IF YOU GO

What: Strike a Paws

When: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday

Where: State College VFW Banquet Hall

Address: 139 N. Barnard St.

Admission: $10 per person with or without their dog

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