To spread some holiday cheer and bring awareness about its organization's mission and vital role the community, Animal Rescue of Tracy hosted "A Drive By Holiday Tail" on Saturday.

This is the second fundraising event held during this year's holiday season by the non-profit rescue, who currently also just wrapped up its Holiday Ugly Pet Sweater contest that started earlier this month.

"Because of current regulations, it has been imperative to think inside the triangle by continuing to provide venues that are fun and safe for our community," said Sarah McNamara, director of fundraiser events for ART.

The special drive-thru event invited families to follow a route that led to various homes around Tracy and read pages fixed on volunteers' lawns from a holiday story. The story, written by the rescue, is about an abandoned stray kitten who is nursed back to health and adopted into its "furever" home. At the event's final stop, ART's mascot Arty greeted participants at their cars and handed out pre-wrapped candy canes.

"We had quite a few familiar faces for this event, even some of those who adopted their fur-babies from ART," said McNamara. "Everyone loved the last stop, especially our mascot who remained socially distant with his face mask."

McNamara said that many attendees also donated to ART on the day of the event to go toward the rising operating costs for the organization, which exceeded $150,000 back in 2019 when it had rescued 402 animals. This year, that number has so far reached over 600 animals rescued.

Artwork for the Holiday Tail pages were created by McNamara's daughter and award-winning young artist, Caitlynne McNamara, who has previously done commissions for other local organizations like the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts. Caitlynne, a sophomore at Kimball High, also runs a pet-portrait business, where part of her proceeds go toward ART's fundraising efforts.

McNamara looks forward to more fundraising events in the future and measures part of ART's success to their diligence in working with partners and sponsors to ensure their animals are well taken care of. The organization also does its part in giving back to the community, such as packaging K9 holiday troop packs, providing pet food and supplies to low-income families and donating pet goods for events like the annual Senior Thanksgiving held by Tracy Rotary Club.

"We are very excited to continue our community outreach and are working on an amazing joint fundraiser next spring with the Grand Foundation," said McNamara. "ART received a substantial donation of formal wear from Macy's and is planning to offer a one-of-a-kind fashion experience. More details to follow early next year, and we are also looking for more event sponsors."

• Contact the Tracy Press at tpnews@tracypress.com or 209-835-3030.

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