A lot of fun with a tribute to the King

Lisa Goudy
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Rory Allen, Elvis Presley tribute artist, performs a song during the third annual Kisses for Kritters fundraiser for the Moose Jaw Humane Society on Feb. 6, 2014 at the Heritage Inn.

Humane society fundraiser Kisses for Kritters a success

Animals have special meaning for Rory Allen.

“They’re near and dear to our hearts because they don’t have a voice of their own and there’s a lot of animals that have to be put down because they can’t find homes,” said Allen. “This helps the profile of the humane society to get a lot of these pets adopted before, unfortunately, a lot of them have to be put down because they can’t find a home. It’s kind of a sad thing that way.

“We have dogs and cats ourselves and they’re all rescues. So we actually practice what we preach in the pet area for sure.”

 Saskatchewan-born Allen was the featured entertainer at the third annual Moose Jaw Humane Society fundraiser, Kisses for Kritters, on Thursday night at the Heritage Inn.

“It was a good crowd. We had a few empty seats, but we did better than we thought we would for sure,” said Stephenie Campbell, promotions and outreach co-ordinator with the Moose Jaw Humane Society. “Everyone’s very enthusiastic. So that makes a big difference.”

She estimated there were about 100 people at the event, including some people from Regina.

While she didn’t know the exact tally of funds raised from the event, the silent auction items sold for more than $2,000.

“Often the very best of what we earn for a fundraiser like this is through the silent auction,” said Campbell. “We’re pretty happy with the way it turned out.”

Allen performed between 25 and 30 of Elvis Presley hits, opening with Trouble and performing other hits such as Blue Suede Shoes and Heartbreak Hotel.

He said he enjoys adding lots of humour into his shows as well and interacting with audience members. As well, he likes to do a few original songs.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “I’m always excited to come to Moose Jaw. This has been a great event in the past.”

Now in his 18th year of full-time Presley shows, he said for bigger shows he has a 12-piece band complete with an orchestra and backup singers.

That was not the case on Thursday.

“This is just me, uncut,” said Allen. “It’s a little more intimate show, but they’re a lot of fun doing these (and raising) more money for the dogs and cats.”

He said he really appreciates the support he continues to find in Moose Jaw.

“Moose Jaw is almost home away from home for us. We do quite a few concerts there during the year and there are great, great people there,” said Allen. “They support the animals quite a bit. We’re pet lovers so anything we can do, we do.”

He added the best part about performing in Moose Jaw is the fans.

“We have quite a contingent of folks that come out to things when I’m there,” said Allen. “We’ve done lots of fundraisers there in the past. I’ve done Sidewalks Days there too and people are just genuine in Moose Jaw. I’ve come to know a lot of folks by name there.

“If there’s funds to be raised for anything, Moose Jaw comes out and supports it in droves.”

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Moose Jaw Humane Society, Heritage Inn, Heartbreak Hotel

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Regina

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