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Concert big piece of Humane Society's fundraising

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By Claude Lewis

The Humane Society of Levy County still has a long way to go as far as raising enough money to build a home, but green is beginning to bud on the fund-raising tree.

The Humane Society, which has been based out of the home of president Mike Schenk since its inception in 2005, is looking at a lot in Bronson to construct its long-anticipated home base on.

Big bucks will be needed for that to happen, however.

Schenk and his staff have been working hard on a blockbuster fundraiser – a Feb. 23 "Bark-N-Purr Concert" at the Bronson Youth League Park featuring country star Chris Cagle.

They got some big help from a major sponsor on Wednesday, as Progress Energy community relations manager Rose Fagler handed over a check for $10,000 at Bronson Town Hall.

"Everything will be paid for walking in on concert day," said Schenk about the costs of putting on such a show.

That means that the Humane Society will get to pocket every cent from each ticket sold.

Advance tickets can be purchased at Bronson Town Hall, Chiefland Farm Supply, Klover Leaf and Wishful Thinking Western World stores in Gainesville and Ocala.

Advance VIP adult tickets are $23 and adult general admission $15.

"We have 100 preferred seats and we're almost sold out," Schenk said.

Schenk expects 3,000-5,000 people to attend. He is hoping to raise some $75,000.

"At least we'll be able to start to build," he said.

Schenk said the Humane Society of Levy has approximately 30 members.

"We're trying to get more," he said. "When we get our building, it will be a different story."

Besides Progress Energy, other concert sponsors include Weeks Chevron, Weeks Bail Bonds, Newberry's Backyard BBQ, Jones' Plumbing, Rockcoustic Systems, D.A.B. Constructors, Flagship RV, Curves Chiefland, Pet Supermart, Waste Pro, Sprint and Coca-Cola.

Cagle has had several hits on the national country charts.

Opening for Cagle will be the Rick Gordon Band out of Chiefland. The Rick Gordon Bank regularly plays at the Red Belly Days festival in Fanning Springs.

Besides the music, there will be a BBQ Cook-Off sanctioned by the Florida BBQ Association, a Classic Car Show and games for all ages.