Norfolk SPCA to celebrate 125 years at upcoming gala

Three men and a kitten are pictured at the grand opening of the Norfolk SPCA building on what was then known at Broad Creek Road in 1949. (Courtesy of the Norfolk Public Library)
Three men and a kitten are pictured at the grand opening of the Norfolk SPCA building on what was then known at Broad Creek Road in 1949. (Courtesy of Sargeant Memorial Collection, Norfolk Public Library)

The Norfolk SPCA was recognized by the Virginia General Assembly on Feb. 12, 1892 after citizens met to organize the group at a local YMCA. After minimizing cruelty to animals for more than a century, the organization plans to remember its 125-year history with a party.

Members of the SPCA raising money for the cause in Norfolk in 1938. (Courtesy of Norfolk Public Library)
Members of the SPCA raising money for the cause in Norfolk in 1938. (Courtesy of Sargeant Memorial Collection, Norfolk Public Library)

The gala is scheduled for Friday, February 10 in the Rose Garden Hall of Norfolk Botanical Garden. It starts at 6 p.m. and tickets are $125. Only 200 tickets are available for purchase, according to a Norfolk SPCA press release.

Speakers scheduled for the event include Hampton Roads historian Robert Hitchings and Norfolk city council members Angelia Williams Graves and Thomas Smigiel. WTKR News 3’s Cheryl Nelson and April Woodard will emcee. A keynote speaker is being sought.

Recently, a group of SPCA staff and volunteers have worked together to research the past 125 years. Materials gathered at the Slover Library will be used for a gala program and commemorative social media posts throughout 2017.

“We are eager to reminisce with our friends on our twelve and a half decades of service to the Hampton Roads community, even during our busy days of saving and improving lives as we assist both animals and people,” Norfolk SPCA Executive Director Rob Blizard said in a press release.

Tickets can be purchased at the Norfolk SPCA location, on its website or by calling the shelter at 757-622-3319, extension 106.

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