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Humane Society Buckets on Broadway event raises $7,700

Humane Society of Freeborn County volunteers raised more than $7,700 Friday during the Buckets on Broadway fundraiser in downtown Albert Lea.

Humane Society Secretary Robyn Joel called the fundraising amount “awesome,” adding it will go to pay veterinary bills and take care of animals.

“We couldn’t do this without the people who volunteer,” she said.

Volunteers Erin Van Wilgen and Heather Hill collect donations Friday during the Buckets on Broadway fundraiser in Albert Lea. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

Joel thanked the community for their donations.

“We appreciate that,” she said.

The fundraiser raised nearly $6,000 in 2017. This was the ninth year of the fundraiser.

Joel said the fundraiser is essential to the Humane Society.

“(It’s) one of our big ones, and we just want to raise money to help with the operating expenses at the shelter,” she said. “We have really expensive vet bills. Right now it’s kitten season, so we have tons of kittens. And all those kittens need their shots — they’re going to need to be spayed and neutered.”

Joel said the Humane Society relies completely on donations.

Kirsch and Freeborn County Sheriff Kurt Freitag look to collect donations Friday during the fundraiser. — Sam Wilmes/Albert Lea Tribune

“We take in strays,” she said. “We take in abandoned animals, neglected animals. We’re also an impound for the city, so if somebody’s dog gets lost or loose, the police will bring it down to our shelter, and then we will contact the owners if we can.”

“We help out the animals in the community, so it’s kind of a community thing.” 

Joel, who arrived at the event at 6 a.m., said 40 volunteers participated in the event.

Twin Cities resident and Albert Lea native Audra Pritchard traveled to Albert Lea to volunteer for the event for the fifth time.

“I just love doing this every year,” she said. “I like helping support the Humane Society and trying to raise as much money as we can.”

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

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