Coming together to raise money for Fort Lauderdale pet rescue

Uwe Schroeder, Bartender at Georgie’s Alibi and owner/ creator of Wolf Cuff Custom Leather Fashion Design is presenting the 7th annual fundraiser for Grateful Paws, dog and cat rescue in Fort Lauderdale. The benefit will, once again, be held at Georgie’s Alibi/Monkey Bar (2266 Wilton Drive) on March 22 starting at 6 p.m. It was a pleasure to sit down with my buddy Uwe to talk with him about this year’s benefit.

 

What can we expect at this year’s fundraiser?

I am proud to say that for years now I have been able to rely on a team of people that have helped me to organize the event and have brought it to so much success. Like every year the event will start with the VIP cocktail reception from 6 till 8 p.m. Tickets are $20 per person and available at Alibi or at the door that night. Each ticket will include catering by Alibi, complimentary cocktails and first chance to “buy now” any item from our silent auction. At 8 p.m. the event will open to the general public and everyone can participate in the silent auction, meet our sponsors, buy 50/50 raffles, and a few more surprises. We also have a special raffle where the winner can pick between three grand prices. Tickets are limited and are $20 each. Shortly after 9 p.m. it’s show time with the performers of the Alibi and some special guests.

Why is this year’s event particularly special for you?

My friends, and those close to me in the community, know that 2016 was an extremely difficult and challenging year for me. Last May, I suffered a brain hemorrhage and came very close to losing my life. It’s a miracle how well I recovered and I want  to use this opportunity to say thank you to the professionals at Holy Cross Hospital, my friends, the Alibi family and everybody that has stood by me during those trying months. I believe I was spared for a purpose and to continue to do as much as I can to help abandoned pets.

As an immigrant, especially as a German immigrant being very aware of my countries history, I feel it’s my responsibility to raise my voice about recent events that have me, and so many others, concerned. My country fell victim to fascism when free press was suppressed (Luegenpresse), a religious minority and political opponents targeted by fear and hate, and rhetoric without any proof or base was manipulated into people’s mind by propaganda. This did not happen overnight; the darkness crept in slowly but with a precise plan. We should be very aware about that moment in history because the time to act and rise is limited. Of course…Do I have a crystal ball? No. I wish nothing more than to be proven wrong and that in a few years from now we have fair immigration, healthcare for all, and the best education for our children. The problem is; what if I am right?

Crimes against LGBT members have increased dramatically as well as threats against Jewish communities. Muslim has become the word for terrorists and in incredible numbers they are coming out of the dark and showing their ancient racism.

This is why this year’s event is also so special. We want to unite people for a great cause; a cause about empathy and compassion. We still see many people out there who care for the greater good. That coming together can make a great change in our community and beyond.

What is your goal for this year?

To save as many animal lives as we can. I never set a monetary goal for the event, although last year we raised over $18,000, which made it one of the largest fundraiser on the Drive and one of the most successful pet fundraiser in Fort Lauderdale. I hope we raise a lot and that everybody who comes out has a great time and enjoys the evening. We are always looking for volunteers and especially foster homes since we do not have a shelter. We believe a loving home is better for an animal in distress than a small kennel. I love fostering. Yes, I do get attached but I love to meet the different personalities that come with every foster and it’s the best feeling in the world when you finally find them a new forever home.

Don’t forget to put the Wolf Cuff Grateful Paws benefit at the Alibi on your calendar.

It’s Wednesday, March 22 starting at6 p.m. for VIP ($20) and 8 p.m. for everyone.