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A Vallejo, CA, body shop does a lot of charity work every year, helping people in the East Bay with re-furbished cars through the Benevolence Program and also participating in other giveaways and fundraisers.
This year, Regal Collision Repair backed up its bark to help local homeless cats and dogs by entering a cat tower/car in the 10th annual Barkitecture Gala and Auction held at Sonoma County Fairgrounds on April 5 to raise money for the Humane Society of the North Bay (HSNB). The theme this year was “There’s No Place Like a Home,” featuring a Wizard of Oz motif, complete with a Yellow Brick Road, tin man, cowardly lion, the wizard himself and more than a few Dorothy’s.
Kirk Kapfenstein, the production manager at Regal Collision Repair, took a 1950s children’s toy car and turned it into a spectacular cat tower, titled “Cruisin’ Down the Yellow Brick Road.” Known for his nationally-acclaimed paint jobs on literally hundreds of motorcycles, Kapfenstein owns and operates Killer Candy in Concord, CA, when he isn’t running the production at Regal. Kapfenstein dedicated more than 50 hours of his time to help the pets’ cause, as a passionate artist/painter and the owner of two dogs and one cat.
Although his creation didn’t land an award, Kapfenstein’s cat tower was a crowd pleaser and an eye-catcher at the Barkitecture party. “We got a lot of positive comments and it sold for $525, all of which goes to the Humane Society of the North Bay,” Kapfenstein explained. “Making it was fun and by helping the community, it made it even more enjoyable. The Boy Scouts beat us with their doghouse, but maybe next year we can come up with something more spectacular that can win first place.”
Jim Boyle, the owner of Regal Collision Repair, loves doing community work and Barkitecture is just another way to give back to the City of Vallejo, he said. “I have a dog and a cat and we’ve always been giving to this cause for many years,” he said. “But this was the first time where we made our own entry and it was a great experience. I’ve always believed that if you do good things it comes back in one form or another, but we don’t do it for those reasons. We do it because it’s the right thing to do and if we get more business as a result, so be it.”
Like Oz’s Emerald City, the Barkitecture Gala and Auction was a magical celebration consisting not only of great fundraising events but also competitions in which local businesses, community and/or neighborhood groups, and individuals create custom designed ‘creature’ comforts such as: Dog dens, dog and cat furniture, bird roosts, bunny boudoirs, lizard lairs and other pet domiciles.
Barkitecture’s “There’s No Place Like a Home” evening included festive music, food from local restaurants, a premium raffle, a silent auction and a live auction of items generously donated exclusively for the event.
The goal of Barkitecture’s “There Is No Place Like a Home” program is to raise much-needed operational funds to care for the animals and for outreach to build awareness of the plight of the many homeless dogs, cats, other animals available for adoption at the Humane Society of the North Bay.