MARYVILLE, Mo. — A local nonprofit held a dinner fundraiser last week seeking help from the community with its ongoing mission to better control the stray cat population in Maryville.

Saying she didn’t really have any expectations about the dinner, Jami Hull, director of TNR Maryville, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, explained she received a lot of help from the community planning the benefit dinner.

From The Bridge allowing the use of its East Campus on Third Street to Hy-Vee and Walmart for making and donating cupcakes decorated like cats, Hull explained the event was successful in raising $435.

Community members donated their time and supplies to help keep costs for the organization low, so more funds could flow directly to the nonprofit.

Friends of TNR Maryville offered their services making the spaghetti and also serving it.

Working toward its Bronze Award, Girl Scout Troop 3376 seated diners, delivered drinks and cleared tables during the event. Providing a welcome distraction from their work were about 30 soft little kittens quietly mewing, napping, climbing and being cuddled.

Other event help was provided by The Lawn Fairy, The Broken Mug and Attention to Detail car services.

Hull said a few people mentioned they were interested in taking a kitten home, but none found a “fur-ever” home that night.

“We can help a LOT of kitties who desperately need our help,” Hull posted to Facebook after the event.

Thanks to partnerships with local veterinarians, Hull is able to stretch the funds donated. However, the organization nearly always has a bill at those veterinarians because of the few high-cost kittens it saves.

A prime example is Chance, a 10-week-old kitten saved after being abandoned by its mother. When found last week he was unable to walk and TNR Maryville took him directly to the vet. Chance had a broken pelvis and fractured femur. Because the breaks were so bad, the leg eventually had to be amputated.

Home now, Chance racked up a bit of a bill — nearing $500 — at the Nodaway Vet Clinic. Hull hopes to hold more fundraisers in the future and thanked the community.

“Their support has been awesome,” she said. Hull also accepts donations online.

For more information about donating or the mission and vision, visit the TNR Maryville Facebook page.

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