CAS' calendar debut party rakes in cash for Toby's Fund

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) -- If there's a lesson to be learned from Charleston Animal Society's firefighter calendar, it's that shirtless firefighters can raise a lot of money in a hurry.

According to Kay Hyman, the firefighter date auction Thursday night pulled in a stunning $10,000 for Toby's Fund, the Charleston Animal Society's fund to help care for abused, abandoned, neglected and unwanted animals in Charleston County.

Launched almost a year ago, Toby's Fund is named for a severely injured dog named Toby who came to the shelter's clinic badly burned and in desperate need of medical attention. After extensive medical attention and love given him by Charleston Animal Society staff, he was able to leave the shelter happy and whole.

"A common misconception is that Charleston Animal Society receives all of our funding from the government but in reality only 25 percent of our budget is government funded," said Caroline Eller, Charleston Animal Society's Director of Development. "We rely on generous sponsors, donors and successful fundraising campaigns in order to save lives.{} Last year, we spent over $500,000 last year treating our communities' animals and will spend significantly more than this year as we work to achieve our goal of making Charleston a No Kill community by 2015."

But Hyman urged that this is an ongoing fundraiser driven by calendar sales. The firefighters featured in the calendar will be teaming up in November at the chili cook-off, where they will sign and sell as many calendars as they can.

The animal society has 5,000 calendars to sell and Hyman said many orders are coming from out-of-town through the CAS website. A team from CAS was at the Pet Expo over the weekend selling calendars as well.

"If we are able to sell all 5,000 of our available calendars, the Firefighter Calendar Project will net over $100,000 for Toby's Fund," adds Eller. "Not only was the party a fun time for all and a great success, but, most of all, it was a shining example of the entire community coming together to help the Charleston area's neediest animals.{} On behalf of Charleston Animal Society, I would like to thank the firefighters, their chiefs, and everyone who came out tonight to support our cause."

Want to buy a calendar? Click here.

The calendars can also be purchased at the following locations:

Charleston Fire Station 6 (5 Cannon St)Crosby's Fish & Shrimp (2223 Folly Rd)Dog & Horse Fine Art (102 Church St)Dolittle's (22 Windermere Blvd)Dolittle's (885 Houston Northcutt Blvd)Dolittle's (114 E Richardson Ave) SummervillePalmetto Paws (976 Houston Northcutt Blvd)Earthling Day Spa (245 East Bay St)Rising High Caf (480 East Bay St)The Shoe Fairy (1405 Ben Sawyer Blvd)WildFlour Pastry (73 Spring St)

Starting Tuesday, the calendars will also be available at:Croghan's Jewel Box (308 King St) Max Muscle (619 Johnnie Dodds Blvd)