CALDWELL, NJ — Caldwell Mayor Ann Dassing is seeking volunteers to help with a new fundraising event called “What About Me?” benefitting homeless animals and those trapped in domestic violence situations that are in need of safe shelter. 

“What About Me?” is a new initiative that Dassing said she is extremely excited to be spearheading alongside Mary Linn Lombardo, founder of the all-volunteer organization Only Kindness Rescue. Finding temporary homes for pets in domestic violence situations is a goal that Lombardo, who has been in the animal-rescue field for many years, recently brought to Dassing’s attention.

Dassing, an animal lover who has rescued animals in the past and currently has two rescue cats and one rescue dog, said it is a goal of hers as the Mayor of Caldwell to help to find good and caring homes for area animals in need.  

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“According to Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s ‘My Cat From Hell,’ 65 percent of women in abusive relationships will delay leaving that situation because they don’t know what to do with their animal family member,” said Dassing. “If we can raise funds for charities like Seer Farms, and other area women's shelters to create areas for their pets, this will give many women an option and help them to get to a safe place and have their pets cared for.”

The fundraiser will benefit Seer Farms, a New Jersey sanctuary that provides temporary care for pets of domestic violence so that victims don't have to give up their beloved pets or leave them in danger; a New Jersey shelter for women of domestic violence to help add a pet-friendly, safe place enabling victims to escape abuse with their pets; and Only Kindness Rescue to help care for those pets that are left behind. 

“What About Me?” with Mistress of Ceremonies, Maria Milito, DJ, Q 104.3 NY, will feature wine tastings from around the world, provided by Verona Wine Cellar, and an appetizer buffet donated by The Calandra Family. The event will be held on Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cucina Calandra Ballroom at the Fairfield Executive Inn in Fairfield. Tickets are $50 each.

The first meeting to develop committees will be held on Tuesday, July 26 at 6 p.m. at Caldwell Town Hall, located at 1 Provost Sq., on the 2nd floor. Committee members will be asked to solicit sponsorships and advertisements for the evening’s ad journal, encourage their friends and family to attend the event, and help with the planning and activities associated with the evening’s festivities.

Anyone interested in getting involved or looking for more information should contact Mayor Dassing at 973-403-4636 or anndassing@gmail.com