Bar, Bands Throw Benefit for Westchester SPCA

Rebel Promotions will host a fundraiser for the no-kill animal shelter on Saturday, March 23 at Garfield’s, The Pit in Thornwood. The party starts at 3:30 p.m.


Some guide the blind, help enforce the law or brighten up the days of those who are sick or need some help cheering up. They’re always there when you need them most, and are like your children or a best friend. 

Since animals do so much for people, Thornwood resident Kristen “Rebel” Palamara of Rebel Promotions wanted to do something for animals—so she’s getting together five great local bands and some yummy eats for a good time at , 859 Franklin Ave., to raise funds for the SPCA of Westchester.

“They need love too, and I am a big animal lover,” said Palamara, whose event coordinating company has held benefits for St. Jude Children’s Hospital and The Wounded Warrior Project. 

The party is on with the bands—Sister Cyanide, Retro-Active, Stripped Vinyl with Jim Pope, Wicked World and Blue Rooster—starting at 4 p.m. All five bands have donated their time and use of equipment to play at the event, while Prime Time Sound Studios in Mount Vernon is supplying the sound system 

“We really enjoy playing, why not play for a good cause?” said Eileen Rehn of Retro-Active, a classic and hard rock band that covers songs from 60s through today, whose three members live in Yonkers and Briarcliff Manor. “If you can raise money for good cause and do what you love at the same time, it is a win-win situation. It is a cause close to our hearts.” 

A $10 donation at the door will also get you on the buffet line with a variety of home cooked foods. There will also be a 50/50 raffle with several prizes, including gift certificates donated from local businesses like Thornwood's Artuso & Sons Bakery & Café and Plaza Video.

Donations of money or items for the SPCA of Westchester will also be accepted during the event. Click here for a list of needed items.

SKULLTIQUE by Gail will have a table set up selling its clothing, accessories and homegoods which don a skull motif. Owner Gail Testa will be donating 10 percent of her sales during the event to the SPCA of Westchester. The SPCA of Westchester will also have a booth set up with information—and, weather permitting, will have pets for adoption in the parking lot.

All donations and a percentage of sales from the bar, which holds several fundraisers a year, will go to the SPCA of Westchester. 

“I love animals and it’s unfortunate that people are so irresponsible that we even have to have them [the SPCA], but I’m happy that they are there,” said Joanne Hayden of Thornwood, who has owned Garfield’s “a local bar with a of mix of all kinds of people” for a decade. “They are good people, they’re friendly and their place is nice and clean. I think they do a great job over there.”

The SPCA of Westchester was founded at its current location in Briarcliff in 1883 by Mary Dusenberry of Ossining after she observed horses being treated cruely. 

The Briarcliff estate has four separate kennel areas for dogs, a cattery and feline pavilion and the Simpson Spay/Neuter Clinic. Its no-kill shelter, that can house more than 100 dogs and lots of cats, is usually full. 

"Factors such as the economy and Super Storm Sandy have not helped the situation," said Rehn. "It is a huge problem.” 

About 5 million animals are euthanized across the U.S. each year, according to the SPCA of Westchester who adopts more than 1,500 animals and gets more than 2,500 calls on its cruelty hotline annually. The Briarcliff shelter is the only shelter in New York State to enforce all Westchester cruelty laws.

The SPCA of Westchester also offers:

  • A no-kill shelter and rehabilitation for abused, abandoned and lost animals
  • Adoption services
  • Low-cost veterinary service
  • Cruelty investigations
  • Community outreach programs
  • Lost and found services

It does all of this without federal or state government funding and solely relies on donations.

“We are so grateful to Rebel Promotions, Garfield’s in Thornwood and all the bands for donating their time to make this event happen to help bring awareness to our shelter animals and also raise funds,” said Lisa Bonnano-Spence, development manger for the SPCA of Westchester. “These types of events really help get our name out there, which is so important to our animals and our mission.” 

If you can’t make it to the party on Saturday you can still drop off items and make a donation at Garfield’s now until the day of the event. For more information on the event email kristenrebs@yahoo.com  for more information on the SPCA of Westchester visit: http://www.spca914.org


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