MANCHESTER — People mingled around tables laden with items to be auctioned off at Kennebec Valley Humane Society’s 13th annual Kibbles ‘N Bids Auction held Sunday at the Augusta Country Club.

Proceeds from the shelter’s main fundraiser will pay for food and veterinary care for abandoned, abused, stray and homeless cats and dogs.

Bruce MacGillivray of Augusta came looking for an enjoyable afternoon.

“I believe in the shelter, so we’re not really looking for anything special. I look at it as a donation,” MacGillivray said. “However, there’s many very yummy items here, and there’s a cake over there that I’m interested in.”

The live silent auction is sponsored by Nancy and Charlie Shuman. Hillary Roberts, the Augusta animal shelter’s executive director, said the Shuman family has hosted this event for the past 13 years. With the funds — the auction brings in $22,000 to $23,000 each year — the shelter will be able to give the 3,000 animals that arrive annually a second chance at life.

“The Shuman family started this 13 years ago in their living room,” Roberts said Sunday. “It’s grown to be a much bigger event that provides food, shelter, medical care and any other support we need for the animals. Our placement rating is really great. We work with rescue groups and other shelters and do everything we can to find our animals a home.”

Auction items included home heating oil, spa packages, home furnishings, restaurant and get-away certificates, jewelry, NASCAR collectibles, an Old Town kayak, ski passes, Jet Blue flights, a Tom Brady autographed mini-helmet, gift certificates to veterinarian clinics and baked goods.

Roberts said she was worried that the snowstorm that hit the area Saturday night and continued on Sunday would keep people away.

“We really wanted to monitor the weather; but since roads looked good, we decided to continue with the event,” she said.

“I hope the storm doesn’t derail people from coming out. This is a critical fundraiser for us, a big piece of our operating budget, which is half a million each year.”

Paul Lariviere of Manchester said he goes every year to the event, having started long before he became a member of the humane society’s board of directors. “Mostly we do it to support the humane society,” Lariviere said, “but like everyone else, I’m always hunting for bargains. We like the bed-and-breakfast get-away packages, so we’ll be hunting for those; and my wife wants the Doodles pet care package.”

“And any kind of food they’re auctioning off,” Kay Lariviere piped in.

Roberts thanked all the local businesses that contributed items to the auction and the people who attended despite the storm.

“I want to thank the community for coming out. We really appreciate it,” she said. “The support is heartwarming, to know people care so much about homeless animals.”

For more information about the annual auctions, which are free to the public, call 626-3491 or visit

The shelter also will receive 25 percent of the proceeds from each vendor at the Sugar Plum Fair on Dec. 4. The fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Buker Community Center in Augusta.

Mechele Cooper — 621-5663

[email protected]

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