2013-09-24 / Front Page

October 6th ‘Boomer Ball Bash’ Will Benefit Exotic Feline Rescue Center

by Suzanne Crabb
The Clay City News

You are invited to a bash; a Boomer Ball Bash! Come out to Sycamore Farm in Bloomington on Sunday, October 6 to support the big cats.

Boomer Ball Bash, a benefit for the Exotic Feline Rescue Center (EFRC) came about when two Bloomington supporters of the EFRC attended a benefit in Caramel earlier this year.

The EFRC, in Center Point, is a sanctuary for abused and/or abandoned felines that need a new home. Providing a home for the rest of the cat’s life, the center houses 230 cats of nine different species.

Founded in 1991 by Joe Taft, the EFRC is a nonprofit organization and does not buy, sell or breed cats. As the name states, they rescue big cats such as tigers, lions, leopards, cougars, bobcats, and more. As part of their program, they provide enhanced environments and stable social groups. In addition to nutrition and play, veterinary services are also provided for the cats.

Stimulation through play is provided with Boomer Balls, large rigid plastic balls the cats chew, swat, and pounce on. The Boomer Ball theme came from an art museum educator’s enthusiasm for the chewed Boomer Balls that were auctioned at the event in Carmel.

When the Boomer Balls are in need of replacing, the old ones are collected, cleaned and auctioned off as one-of-a-kind table sculptures. The chewed balls will be silent auction items and centerpieces for the event.

Taking place from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the event will feature live music (including music from IU faculty and former faculty), food from Short Stop BBQ Train, Upland Beer, wine from Monarch Beverage, soft drinks, and live and silent auctions. There will be vegetarian options as well.

Advanced tickets can be purchased for $25, while admission at the door will be $30 while tickets are available. Visit www.efrcfundraising.org to order your advance tickets.

As part of the fundraiser, there will be live and silent auctions with many great items up for grabs.

Live auction items include a unique musical experience, an in-home concert with singer Anita Hall. Hall will attend the event and sing a “teaser” song. Bloomington textile artist Sandy Hill has an art quilt with hints of tiger among the design.

A phenomenal live auction item has been donated by Indiana’s best-selling author Michael Koryta. Koryta, who centered his novel “So Cold the River” around West Baden, Indiana, has donated a onenight stay for two at West Baden Springs Resort. Koryta will give a tour of the hotel and grounds then take the winning bidder to dinner at Sinclair’s Steakhouse. His novel “The Ridge” is how he became so intrigued with EFRC as he began research for the novel.

The silent auction offers overnight stays, golf, theatre tickets, framed big cat photos, dance lessons, restaurant dinners, salon services and a zip line ride.

You can follow auctions at www.efrcfundraising.org.

IU Dean of Education Gerardo Gonzalez will be the guest auctioneer for the event.

In addition to the auctions, you will have the opportunity to purchase a new ball that you will be able to present to one of the cats as you accompany a staff member or volunteer at EFRC, a truly memorable experience.

If you own a business (or as an individual) and you are interested in sponsorship, you can visit www.efrcfundraising.org. To become a sponsor, click on the Sponsorship Opportunities tab to the left.

Sponsorship costs and benefits are included on this page as well as a link to pay online through the EFRC website. If you wish to mail a sponsorship form, you can print the application from the website and mail it to :Velda Boenitz, BBB Committee, 5118 E. 161st St., Noblesville, IN 46062.

Levels of sponsorship available include: Tiger Sponsorship, $1,000; Leopard Sponsorship, $500; Cougar Sponsorship, $250; and Lynx Sponsorship, $150. Each level comes with at least one ticket to the event along with other perks.

Sycamore Farms is located at 1720 West That Road in Bloomington.

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