Football Bash will aid animal welfare group

HUDSON — For those who love sports and animals, or who just want to help out a good cause, a fundraiser is being held at Skinny’s Bar & Grill in Hudson on Thursday, Sept. 5, to benefit the Pasco Animal Welfare Society.

Organized by the man responsible for the Hudson Seafood Festival in 1999 and 2000 and the Big Boom Bash at the Hudson Marina in July 2000, the “19th Annual Football Bash” brings a host of sports celebrities, activities and related memorabilia. 100 percent of the proceeds from the entrance fee, raffle and auction will go toward the nonprofit clinic to help save the lives of Pasco animals and provide low-cost spay and neutering services, dental services, grooming and boarding for pet owners.

“This is a fundraising money event to help abused animals in Pasco County,” said the event’s organizer, Frank Allen, the former publisher for Tampa Bay Sports Magazine. “It’s a major, major problem. I’m hearing stories every day that make me sick.”

The football bash started in the late ’80s and the last one was held at the Turtle Club in Clearwater in 2001. Every event chooses an organization or cause to benefit. Allen moved to Detroit a few years back where he was the host of a morning talk show, before moving back to Hudson four months ago for health reasons, he said.

During that time, the football bash was defunct. This year, Allen revived it.

“People need to speak up for animals and stop animal abuse,” Allen said. “It’s very rampant in Pasco County. Our judicial system is very weak on prosecuting animal abusers.”

Throughout the event, which starts at 4 p.m., Allen said he’ll give away 150 prizes, 10 prizes every 15 minutes, that have been donated by community businesses. Prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants, autographed footballs, and salon make-overs. Anyone who gives at least the $10 suggested donation for the entrance fee will get a ticket to this raffle.

While some businesses donated items for the raffle and auction, others donated services, like Dan and Karen Crawford of UPS Store No. 6294, on State Road 52 in Hudson. When Allen approached them for their help, they readily agreed to provide free printing services for fliers and more to advertise the event.

“Frank is a very strong proponent of taking care of one’s animals and pets and when he brought this to us it made sense to help him out wherever he needs it,” Dan Crawford said. “We couldn’t say no.”

Allen is also asking attendees to bring bags of cat and dog food, and kitty litter, to distribute among smaller, independently owned rescue facilities throughout Pasco County.

The event will feature a performance by the band Ooh-la-la, known locally for their mix of 1970s and 1980s music. There will be a Quarterback Toss, drink specials for wearing your favorite team’s colors, and hamburgers and hotdogs cooked on an open grill in the dance area.

Allen also said that Brian Garry, a retired boxing referee from Tampa, and Wayne Fontes, defensive backs coach for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before a stint as head coach of the Detroit Lions, along with other guests, have been invited to the event.

“It’s the biggest football party in Pasco County,” Allen said.

Skinny’s Bar & Grill is at 13228 U.S. 19, Hudson. For more information call (727) 863-4400.

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