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Westminster fundraiser Paws of Plenty looking to help crisis center

People looking to get holiday pictures taken with their pets are getting an opportunity this weekend thanks to a local event that is created for a dual purpose.

Paws of Plenty, which is set for Saturday, Nov. 28 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. in Westminster, was created by 2011 Liberty High School graduate Hanna Perez. She’s an executive assistant for a real estate group at Keller Williams Legacy, and when her team leader asked for her help with a project to put together a fundraising event Perez said she came up with a few ideas.

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The creation had to be “something that we’re passionate about and to be able to give back to the community,” Perez said. Her first thought was something that would help the hungry, then Perez turned to her love for animals.

Paws for Plenty takes place at 260 Bell Road in Westminster on a spacious farm, Perez said. Anyone who wants to come by with their pets can do so, as long as they bring with them a monetary donation or personal care items to be given to Community Crisis Center in Reisterstown.

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In return, Perez said they’ll be able to pose for pictures with their animals and get a free digital copy. Perez said holding the event outdoors helps with social distance and safety protocol to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Community Crisis Center, a nonprofit organization, gives back to those in need by way of emergency food items, personal hygiene products, clothing, school supplies, financial workshops, and information or referrals to other area services, according to its website. Perez said CCC is experiencing a 400% increase in people that need help amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They’re not really sure with how they’re going to be able to keep up with this high demand,” Perez said. “They’re now serving as many people in a week as they did in a month pre-COVID.”

Paws of Plenty will have treats for humans and pets alike, Perez said, and a local band called Stone Ridge Boys is set to perform. Perez said she went to high school with one of the band members, and her Liberty connection with Jenna Tripp and Carly Reed led to Jenna and Carly Photography agreeing to take the free holiday photos during the event.

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The site also features a barn and horses for people to interact with and get pictures, Perez said. But the focus is helping Community Crisis Center, with a goal of $5,000 set and a Gofundme page created for people to make donations.

And Perez said she’d love to see Paws of Plenty become an annual fundraiser to benefit the Reisterstown group.

“That’s also what really strikes us wanting to give back to them and be able to support them,” she said. “And we know that people love their pets, so we figured we would get a pretty good turnout.”

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