Susan Knight, Nikki Markese, and Sandy Harris with kittens at WHS Boo Bash (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Willamette Humane Society Executive Director B.J. Andersen said that the pandemic changed the animal welfare industry in remarkable ways. The human-animal bond became even stronger, especially with the help of our local shelter. Humane Society supporters came together in costume at the annual Boo Bash to continue funding their work.

On Oct. 23, guests were welcomed into the Willamette Heritage Center by Rebecca and Larry Armstrong, along with dogs Mango and Kush. Creepy skeletons, both human and animal, decorated the Spinning Room. 

It takes many volunteers to put on the event. Willamette University student Bethany Fletcher helped guests get their auction paddles. Wendy Sanman and Candalyn Johnson sold tickets for a beautiful gold necklace and beads for the heads and tails game.

Witches and hippies socialized. Susan Knight, Nikki Markese, and Sandy Harris brought out some adoptable kittens to cuddle.

Andersen dressed in a period costume of the 1600s. A sign on her back read, “In 1692, Sarah Bridges Cloyse and her two sisters were accused, tried, and convicted of witchcraft in Salem, Mass. Her sisters were hung, but Sarah escaped death. Sarah was Andersen's great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandmother.”

WHS President Tracy Crandall and Community Philanthropy Officer Sherri Partridge spoke. A touching story about the rehabilitation of Toasty the cat, inspired donors. This one pound kitten came to them anemic, with fleas and an injured eye. After an eye removal, the kitty was fostered and found a loving home. The subsequent appeal raised over $30,000.

WHS' next event is their Holiday Bazaar on Nov. 12-13, 10a.m.- 6p.m. at their thrift store on 548 High ST N.E.

Larry Armstrong III and Kush at WHS Boo Bash (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Rebecca Armstrong and Mango at WHS Boo Bash (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Ronan greets guests at WHS Boo Bash (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Guests play “heads or tails” at WHS Boo Bash. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Willamette University student Bethany Fletcher checks in guests at WHS Boo Bash (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

BJ Andersen’s sign tells the family story of Salem, Massachusetts (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Teresa McKenzie, BJ Andersen, and Barbara Andersen at WHS Boo Bash (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Wendy Sanman and Candalyn Johnson volunteer at WHS Boo Bash (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

WHS President Tracy Crawford speaks at WHS Boo Bash (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Correction: This article originally misspelled BJ Andersen and Barbara Andersen's last name in a photo caption. Salem Reporter apologizes for the error.

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional, writing regularly about events for Salem Reporter.

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