Marco's, Chasing Daylight partner for fundraiser

Marco's Italian and American Grill in Warrens is the host site for a fundraiser for Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter. Marco's owner Mark Chew, left, is pictured with Gina Mason, CDAS board president and her husband, Harold. Herald photo Bob Kliebenstein

Funny how one additional letter can add a little spice to an event.

Case in point, Marco's Italian and American Grill in Warrens is hosting a "spay"ghetti dinner Sunday, April 25 for Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter (CDAS) from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a dine in or carryout option for the spaghetti meal. Cost is $9.95/person for the meal served with chopsticks, Chew says with a smile. Silverware is available for an additional $5 donation.

All proceeds benefit cats and dogs at Chasing Daylight, located at 15560 Hwy. 131, just outside Tomah. Marco's is located at 3514 Blarney Road, Warrens.

Chasing Daylight Animal Shelter, Inc was established April 2010. The doors opened June 20, 2011. The name was chosen to reflect the 'brighter tomorrow' for pets and their people.

Gina Mason, Chasing Daylight board president, said plans are being made for an anniversary observance this summer. In 10 years of operating, Mason said approximately 3,500 pets have been placed as rescues.

But there is also a foster program for those animals who cannot or should not be housed at the shelter. The foster program is an avenue to rehabilitate "special needs" animals and house animals too young for adoption.

Generally CDAS is home to around 20 dogs and 30 cats. The number of felines can double during birthing time, Mason added.

The mission of CDAS is to protect animals from suffering and cruelty. The primary emphasis is to provide care for domestic cats and dogs until 'forever homes' are found. Volunteers enhance the lives of our pets and people through education and adoption. CDAS supports activities that improve the general welfare of animals.

This is the second fundraiser Chew has hosted for CDAS, the first in 2019. Mason said she and her husband, Harold, stopped to eat at Marco's a few years ago and it was not long before Chew offered to host a fundraiser.

Mason added Chew helps CDAS by donating soup bones from his pho soup served at Marco's

The first year event had good attendance with optimism for 2020. Then Covid cancelled plans for the event in 2020

All non-profits sustained financial challenges due to the pandemic, but supporters helped keep the CDAS afloat.

"We have an incredible group of donors and they continue to support us," Mason said. "Community support makes this happen."

The spaghetti fundraiser is one event to offset the longtime golf outing hosted at Holiday Lodge until it closed. Then owners Ray and Nancy Reidy were longtime supporters and helped raise $480,000 for construction of Chasing Daylight. The effort to raise that money started in 2001, Mason recalls.

On April 25, along with the meal there will be a 50/50 raffle, basket raffle and hourly prize drawings. While hoping for good weather for people to socialize on Marco's tiki deck, the restaurant will provide shelter if the weather does not cooperate.

CDAS will also have a garage sale during the Tomah city wide garage sales to fund raise, Mason said.

The garage sale is Friday, April 30, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, May 1, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fireman's Park, Tomah. Donations can be dropped off at the park shelter starting Monday, April 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Check out the CDAS web site for more information about services offered at the shelter.

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