Tuacahn performers donate time, talents to raise funds for animal shelter

Cast members of the 2014 season of Tuacahnn's productions perform "Doghouse Tango" at the Mutts and Music benefit in the indoor Hafen Theatre at Tuacahn, Ivins, Utah, August 9, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

IVINS – Saturday afternoon, in front of a large audience of music and animal lovers, members of this year’s performing cast and crew at Tuacahn graced the stage of Tuacahn’s indoor Hafen Theatre to perform in a variety benefit show, “Mutts and Music,” designed to raise funds for the Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters, a group of women dedicated to the no-kill concept of the Ivins Animal Shelter.

Paco is an adoptable dog at the Ivins Animal Shelter who is looking for his forever home, Ivins, Utah, August 9, 2014| Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

The Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters, or INKAS, is a Utah nonprofit group dedicated to assisting the Ivins Animal shelter with all its needs, from kitty litter to veterinarian care.  The benefit was held to raise funds for this group of animal lovers to help them continue to supply the shelter with necessities.

“All of the donations go to the animals,” Connie Butterfield, INKAS president, said. “No one from our group takes any money.”

The benefit showcased the musical stylings of the cast and crew members from Tuacahn’s productions, who took their own free time – time off from a long season of shows – to raise both funds and awareness for the Ivins Animal Shelter and its adoptable animals, INKAS Vice President Kim Rubel said.

“Most of these (actors) are not from here. They don’t live here, and yet they were willing to give their time to help someone who cannot help themselves,” Rubel said. “That is really special.”

The show was kicked off by a children’s choir singing the old Disney classic “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” which was followed by a host of performances that ranged from Disney and musical theater tunes to pop and original songs.

One of the highlights of the benefit was a rendition of “Cell Block Tango” from the musical “Chicago,” which the singers recreated as the “Doghouse Tango” in honor of the furry friends and their human supporters.

Julia Carter plays one of the mer-sisters in this year’s production of “The Little Mermaid,” and she shared her vocal talents with Saturday’s audience at what she said she feels was a worthwhile event.

“We all just love our pets and we also love any opportunity to help a cause that we feel passionate about and use our talents,” Carter said. “So I think this is a fun way for people to come be entertained but also support these animals who have already lost so much.”

Several adoptable dogs, as well as performers’ personal pets, made star appearances on stage – most notable a tutu-wearing chow and a three-legged dog, aptly named Trooper.

Performers from the current season of Tuacahn productions perform at the “Mutts and Music” musical benefit for the Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters group at the indoor Hafen Theatre in Tuacahn, Ivins, Utah, August 9, 2014 | Photo by Hollie Reina, St. George News

Overall, the talent and the cuteness displayed left the audience cheering, laughing, smiling and even shedding some tears in a memorable afternoon dedicated to supporting this cause.

Since the Ivins facility started taking on the stray animals from the neighboring city of Santa Clara, the shelter has seen an influx of cats, Aggie Smith, shelter director and animal control officer, said.  The Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters have been beneficial in providing cat beds, special cat food, collars and even two roofs over the outdoor cat area that allows animals to be outside almost all year, she said.

Additions are planned for the shelter that would enlarge the cat area and provide more space to accommodate the growing kitty population, Smith said.

To make the addition feasible, the Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters have pledged $25,000 to help with the facility expansion, and the musical benefit concert’s proceeds will be donated to that cause, as well, for continued support of shelter needs.

Organizers and members of the animal supporters group expressed their pleasure with the turnout and talent highlighted at the “Mutts and Music” concert but continued to stress, despite the event’s success, the continuing needs of the shelter and the importance of community donations.

The show finished off with the popular “Toy Story” song, “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and pictures of current adoptable dogs were held up by the children’s choir, a last reminder to help support these pals with paws.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.


  • To learn more about the Ivins No-Kill Animal Supporters including how to donate click here

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  • Super Grover August 9, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    We don’t leave home to come into town on Saturdays, but we came in for this show today. It was a terrific little event for our favorite cause.

  • M and M cookies August 10, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    I saw the show last year and loved it and came back again.. I wish they showed pics of the shelter and the new addition… Loved the animals and all the talent was so good…. Maybe next year more dogs and some cats can be featured …..thanks for the hard work everyone does at the shelter.. Mm

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