Whether your passion includes string bands, pooches or a little bit of both, folks can soon enjoy a joint celebration at the Mums & Mutts’ 10th annual anniversary gala at the Mummers Museum, 1100 S. 2nd St., at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 18.
Marking a decade’s worth of efforts, Mums & Mutts, a South Philadelphia-based nonprofit, is saluting years of animal advocacy work around the tri-state area.
Now partnered with several rescues and shelters around the region, the organization originally arose in a Whitman couple’s apartment in 2010 after they adopted a rescue pet. Over the years, they say they fostered more than 50 dogs. Soon, they wanted to shift those efforts to an established outlet.
Brainstorming a South Philly-centric tie to their emerging nonprofit, one tradition in particular quickly came to mind.
“As we got more involved in the rescue world, I just realized that I wanted to do more,” said founder Megan McFarland. “I wasn’t sure, but I figured, being a lifelong Mummers fan, well, I’m going to pair it with Mummers. They have such a great following – why not make it Mummers helping rescue animals?”
From parade-producing board members to string band-featured fundraisers, the Mummers certainly play a crucial role in the operation of the organization.
The nonprofit primarily assists local rescues and shelters with funding, marketing, social media, PR and more. Through raised funds, the nonprofit will offer assistance, such as expenses for veterinary care or simply food, to places with pets in need.
McFarland says, since its inception, she estimates that the nonprofit has touched the lives of more than 3,000 animals.
Through up to eight fundraisers each year, Mums & Mutts partners with organizations, such as the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Street Tails Animal Rescue, Noah’s Ark Rescue, Tiny Paws and even some unexpected creatures in need.
“There are some straggling farm animals we’ve been able to help over the years, as well,” McFarland said.
Most notably, McFarland says Mums & Mutts helped to raise about $20,000 last year for a Northern Liberties rescue when it was struggling to keep its doors open.
With the upcoming gala, which will feature, food, drinks and dancing, Mums & Mutts aims to continue its advocacy.
“Anything that we fundraise is a win,” McFarland said. “Our goal from the beginning for any event is if one animal’s life can be saved, then it’s all worth it. With an event of this magnitude, we’re probably gonna be able to save a lot more than one…We can really bask in the glory of the past decade and celebrate the fact that we’re really just getting started, in a way. There’s so much more to come.”
At the gala, the organization will recognize Councilman Mark Squilla and deputy mayor of labor Richard Lazer, who McFarland says have both been integral in the growth of Mums & Mutts.
“Without two of them, I’m really unsure if we would have ever gotten off the ground,” she said.
Naturally, the Mummers Museum was the most fitting place for the bash, and during the gala’s cocktail hour, the Uptown String Band is scheduled to perform.
The band, McFarland says, is one of several local organizations that have contributed to the decade-long success of Mums & Mutts.
She attributes the ongoing encouragement from local neighbors, friends, families and, of course, Mummers to hundreds of animals lives being spared each and every year.
“We just love the sense of community in South Philly and that South Philly has been our home base throughout 10 years of our organization,” McFarland said. “We can’t stress enough that we wouldn’t be able to do it if it wasn’t for the love and support of the community.”