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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014

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HAWS jingle contest encourages advocacy and fun

The Humane Animal Welfare Society of Waukesha County (HAWS) invites performers of all ages to take part in their "Sing Our Jingle to Save Lives" video contest. Jennifer Smieja, HAWS’ Development Coordinator, encourages everyone to "have fun and be silly," in producing videos to submit.

The contest is offered in conjunction with the organization’s 30th Anniversary Pet Walkathon, taking place Saturday, May 4 from 9 a.m to 3 p.m. in Waukesha’s Sussex Village Park.

The contest came as the result of HAWS’ adopting the new jingle late last year. It is posted to their website along with background music that is available for download for anyone who would like to sing along to it in their video entry. Featured entries can also be viewed for inspiration – or just for their cuteness.

HAWS is looking for entries that are 30-45 second videos where the entrants sing their song either with the background music or a cappella. Along with following format and content guidelines as listed on their website, Smieja advises that "silly is good. We’d love people to have fun with this, and when people sing our jingle it makes us feel great!"

Grand prize winners in each of three age categories will receive a prize: a new bike for the junior group (age 12 and under) an iPod for the teen group, and a gift certificate for the adult/group winner.

Entries will be accepted through April 30, and finalists will be featured on the HAWS website for online voting. The final winners will be decided by these votes and a panel of judges. Winners in each age group announced at the Walkathon, where they may also have a chance to perform.

The winning videos will also be featured on Animal Advocate Television, a show produced by Animal Fairy Charities (501c) that airs locally on WISN Channel 12 Saturday afternoons from 1:30-2 p.m.

Smieja also encourages animal lovers to attend the May 4 HAWS Pet Walkathon, HAWS’ biggest fundraiser of the year, which she describes as "a festival for pets and their people." Though dogs take the lead in pet attendees, all pets are welcome. Turtles, cats, and ferrets have made appearances at past walks.

The Walkathon started as a pledge walk but has developed into a drop-in event that includes a showcase of adoptable pets as well as family-friendly activities, demonstrations, food, games and vendors. Participants collect donations prior to the event, with all money raised going to HAWS for care of the animals and support of their programming.

HAWS is a non-profit animal shelter that annually assists over 6,000 animals and welcomes more than 31,000 human visitors to their shelter each year.

For information on the Pet Walkathon and the "Sing our Jingle to Save Lives" contest, see their website.

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