ST. PAULS — As many as 60 people are expected to take a big leap for the Blind Cat Rescue and Shelter on Friday.
The shelter has teamed up with Dare Me For Charity for a nationwide fundraising campaign during which participants plunge 40 feet into a large air bag to benefit nonprofits. More than 100 organizations across 32 cities have signed up for the campaign in hopes of taking home the $25,000 grand prize.
Supporters of each nonprofit buy $15 tickets that can be redeemed for three jumps. The money raised from the sale of tickets goes to Dare Me For Charity to cover “the expense of production and events.” As of today, the local shelter seemed poised to win the grand prize, with almost 3,000 jumps pledged — more than any other nonprofit participating in the campaign.
“We are blessed with the most amazing supporters all over the world,” said Alana Miller, who runs the shelter.
The shelter was founded in 2005 to provide a safe environment for blind cats that were considered unadoptable. In 2011, the sanctuary expanded to accommodate FELV positive and FIV positive cats.
The shelter has garnered a large Internet following. It boasts more than 550,000 likes on Facebook and runs a streaming video channel where people can watch live broadcasts of the cats.
“I think it touches a lot of hearts,” Miller said. “A large portion of shelters immediately euthanize theses animals. When they come to us, they’re in trouble because there’s no place else to go.”
Dare Me For Charity plans to base a reality show around the campaign and will have a production crew filming during the event.
Miller said that if her shelter wins the $25,000, most of the money will go toward covering the cats’ medical expenses.
“We spend about $6,000 a month in vet bills,” she said. “We’re a lifetime care sanctuary, so a good portion will probably go to ongoing vet bills.”
The event will run from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. near the shelter, which is located at 95 Prairie Lane. For information, visit blindcatrescue.com.