University of Texas-Austin: "Picture Yourself With Santa" Charity EventMarch 1st, 2007
December 1, 2006, members of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund
(SALDF) at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law hosted their
first annual "Picture Yourself With Santa" charity event at the
University CO-OP Bookstore. The event gave university students and
staff and the public alike an opportunity to get their picture taken
with Santa Claus and also learn more about the UT-Austin SALDF chapter.
Pets were welcome and many in attendance brought their dogs and cats
with them for the photo. The event not only provided much needed
holiday season stress relief for many but also raised more than $200 in
donations for Animal Trustees of Austin (ATA.) ATA is a non-profit
animal welfare organization that rescues, fosters, and finds new homes
for homeless dogs and cats and provides quality and affordable
sterilization surgery to prevent the birth of unwanted cats and dogs.
ATA's spokesdog, Jessie Rose, was also on hand to sit in on pictures
for those who did not have an animal with them.
In an effort to maximize the donation to ATA, SALDF members worked together to cut costs for the event. Their effective strategies included checking out a digital camera from the law school media services, finding a free venue for the event, contacting local costume stores to request a discounted price on a Santa rental costume, and collecting holiday decorations from different members to use in the backdrop of the photographs. Members also successfully found a local graphic designer who agreed to volunteer to add graphics to the pictures after the event and transform them into holiday greeting cards. SALDF members worked together for the event; the chapter's President, Tom Linney, played the part of Santa Claus while other members helped collect contact information and donations, take pictures, distribute literature and give treats to both the pets and humans in attendance. Overall it was a fun event that not only benefited a great cause but also increased awareness for the great work being done by ALDF and the local SALDF chapter. For more information please contact Tomlinney@yahoo.com.