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Puss 'N Boots Ball fundraiser

Children aren't the only ones who can make a fool of themselves on Halloween. Grown-ups also have the opportunity to dress up as superheroes, strange animals or villains and eat, drink and dance for a good cause at the 18th Annual Puss 'N Boots Ball.

The ball begins at 6 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., Ashland.

It's hosted by the Friends of the Animal Shelter, the nonprofit organization that supports the adoption and animal-welfare programs of the Jackson County Animal Shelter.

FOTAS first hosted a fundraiser similar to the ball in December 1990 for supporters of the Jackson County "pound" and the Southern Oregon Humane Society and raised about $2,000. The following year, when FOTAS achieved non-profit status, a volunteer suggested hosting a costume ball fundraiser. The ball was later dubbed Puss 'N Boots after a 17th century fairy tale about a cat with magic boots who brought good fortune to his master.

Last year, more than 200 people attended the ball, which raised about $24,000 for FOTAS programs such as a medical fund for shelter animals that need special treatment to make them healthy and adoptable.

This year the festivities will include a gourmet dinner buffet by Quality Catering (the catering arm of Cafe Dejeuner) a cash bar with a wide selection of fine wines, live music by the Rogue Suspects, dancing, a silent auction with hundreds of items donated by regional businesses and artisans and a live auction that will include vacation getaways to the Siskiyou Mountains, the Smith River and Honduras. Prizes will be awarded for the best group costumes, couple costumes and animal-themed costumes, as well as for the most creative, scary and unusual costumes.

Tickets to the ball are $35 per person or $315 for a table of 10. Tickets are available in advance at Paddington Station in Ashland; by e-mailing FOTAS@mind.net; or by calling 821-8291. A popular event, the Puss 'N Boots Ball sells out.

For more information about Friends of the Animal Shelter, see fotas.org.