Local celebrities get baking

Annual event to raise money for animal shelter

by Ciera Choate

The Animal Kneads Day is coming again to south Charlotte, and this year will include a celebrity bake-off to raise awareness of and money for the spay and neuter clinics held in Charlotte. Photo courtesy of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care and Control

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care & Control, along with the Great Harvest Bread Company, will kick off their annual Animal Kneads Day with a charity bake-off Saturday, July 21 from 6 to 9 p.m.

“We are maxed out at the number of vendors [for Animal Kneads Day], but we were trying to figure out a way to promote the event more and give it more of a place where people can come and socialize. We came up with the idea to do a celebrity bake off,” Melissa Knicely, with Animal Care & Control, said.

The bake-off will take place at the Zoom Room, 12239 N. Community House Road, in Toringdon Market, features local celebrities who will either bake their own dish or use brownie-making kits provided for free by the Great Harvest Bread Company. Cost to attend the event is $5 at the door or free if guests pre-register online.

Local celebrities who will attend the bake-off include: Blair Miller, from WSOC; Michelle Boudin, from WCNC; Barbara McKay, Morgan Fogarty and Isreal Balderas, from Fox Charlotte; Molly Granthan and Kristen Miranda, from WBTV; Cassidy Proctor, from KISS 95.1’s Drex and Maney Morning Show; Linda Silver, from Clear Channel Radio, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers.

During the bake-off guests can bring their dogs to participate in the Doggie Disco and agility training and get free doggie biscuits. All donations from the bake-off and Animal Kneads Day will go the Animal Care & Control Spay/Neuter Fund. Last year the event raised about $13,200.

“We believe that we can improve our city fundamentally by showing that we can reduce the euthanasia rate,” said Jeff Ganoung, who owns the Great Harvest Bread Company along with his wife, Janet Ganoung.

The Great Harvest Bread Company, 6420 Rea Road, plans to host their sixth annual Animal Kneads Day on Aug. 19 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The company will donate all bread sold at the event and all employees working the event are donating their time and will not be paid for their work.

The Ganoungs participate in many charities throughout Charlotte that benefit stray animals, such as the Humane Society of Charlotte’s Pet Palooza. According to Jeff Ganoung, “the greatness of a society is determined by how they treat the least among them, animals included.” This belief is a key reason why the Ganoungs participate in or sponsor as many as 30 charities in Charlotte each year.

In addition to trying to increase the quality of life in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area, Jeff Ganoung also believes more people should work to lower the euthanasia rate to help spend taxpayer dollars in a more efficient way.

“Taxpayers dollars goes to the police department for all police activities including Animal Care & Control. Those are tax dollars that could be spent on more important policing. I would rather have my money going to other more useful things in the police department,” he said.

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