From presidents to professional athletes, more than one hundred celebrities are getting behind an effort to help Danville build a new animal shelter.
Cages are full and space is tight at the Danville Area Humane Society.
"Operating a shelter the size of ours is very expensive, and we just want to be able to continue helping all the animals," said Paulette Dean, Executive Director of the Danville Area Humane Society.
The animal rescue agency is in the process of building a larger shelter next to their current home. To finish the project, they're holding a big fundraiser called the "Paws and Claws Gala."
And what better way to raise money than by getting a few celebrities involved. It started with a note to a famous chef.
"I e-mailed Paula Deen's secretary to see if she would come down for an event here. She didn't, but she sent us an autographed cookbook," said Dean.
From there, an idea was born.
"We started thinking, if one celebrity will do it, maybe others will," Dean said.
So they started reaching out to other big names.
"We went on the internet and got the name of a lot of celebrities who are involved in animal issues," said Dean.
Humane society volunteer Joanie Schwarz has spent more than six months sending out letters to every celebrity she can think of.
"We sent out something like 600 letters at first and we have been very surprised by the response to this," said Dean.
"The first president and Mrs. Bush sent us an autographed picture with their dog," said Dean.
"We even got a call from Richard Simmons!" Dean said. The fitness guru ended up sending a dalmation statue.
With so many famous names, Dean is hoping donors will take notice.
"We hope people will get caught up in the spirit of it and use this as their annual donation," said Dean.
The Humane Society will sell the celebrity items during a silent auction at the Paws and Claws Gala.
The event is October 21st from 7 to 11 p.m. at the Stratford Conference Center in Danville.
Tickets are $35.00 per-person and $400 per-table. To order a seat, call the Danville Area Humane Society at (434) 799-0843.