Ridgefield Operation for Animal Rescue (ROAR) will host its annual ROAR With Laughter gala and fundraising event on Feb. 24 at Rolling Hills Country Club in Wilton. This year’s award recipients being honored by ROAR for their outstanding contributions and support are Ridgefield-resident Walt Richter, the 2018 ROAR Community Star Award honoree and the Canine Company of Wilton, the 2018 ROAR Business Star Award honoree.

Tickets may be purchased online at 501auctions.com/ROARwithLaughter. All proceeds from the gala will go to ROAR to support the ROAR Donofrio Family Animal Shelter to continue rescuing, caring and adopting cats and dogs. The shelter is located at 45 South Street in Ridgefield.

“Thanks to the ongoing support of generous donors, volunteers and our sponsors, more than 5,000 cats and dogs have been placed by ROAR in caring homes throughout Ridgefield and its surrounding towns since our inception in 2000,” said Brad Marcus, board member for ROAR. “We look forward to hosting this year’s gala to celebrate with the community recent successes in finding forever homes for rescue cats and dogs, and honoring Walt Richter and the Canine Company as our 2018 Community award winners.”

This year’s theme of the gala is The Royal Treatment. Not every dog or cat is lucky enough to be cared for by a loving family. Some are surrendered due to unforeseen circumstances, some become lost and never reunited with their family and others are born into the world with no one to care for them. Each one of these animals deserves The Royal Treatment. For rescues, this means food, shelter, spaying, neutering, and vaccinations. ROAR provides The Royal Treatment until each dog or cat moves on to rule its own palace.

Attendees at the gala will enjoy a sumptuous buffet dinner, open bar, silent and live auctions, and entertainment by stand-up comedian Johnny Lampert, who is one of the premier comedians in the country. Lampert is a regular at New York City’s and Los Angeles’ best comedy clubs and his performances have been featured on MTV, A&E, Comedy Central, NBC, HBO Comedy Showcase and AXS TV’s Gotham Comedy Live.

ROAR’s live auction will feature several items including trips to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and Dublin, Ireland, a trip to Nashville with tickets to the 2018 Country Music Awards (CMA), Walt Richter’s famous barbecue for 50 people, dinner at The James Beard House, and New York Yankees Legends tickets.

The event’s silent auction will also be open to the public, giving those who can’t attend the event an opportunity to bid on items from their smartphones. Bidding will start online on Feb.14 and end at the ROAR With Laughter event. Register to start bidding before Feb. 24 at 501auctions.com/ROARwithLaughter.

Each year, ROAR’s shelter provides a warm, safe and welcoming place for more than 200 homeless pets to recover and await adoption. The cats and dogs come from local animal controls that ROAR works with in Connecticut, as well as 10 other states in areas where there is overcrowding. ROAR’s staff and team of volunteers provide loving care, daily exercise, training and enrichment, grooming, excellent medical care and individual kennel accommodations to create a home-like environment.

ROAR is a non-profit animal rescue organization in Ridgefield that specializes in the compassionate treatment and adoption of homeless pets. Since its inception in 2000, ROAR has placed more than 5,000 dogs and cats into loving forever homes. ROAR’s shelter, named for the Donofrio family in recognition of their generous and ongoing support, opened its doors in 2005. The shelter provides a warm, safe, welcoming place for homeless pets to recover and await adoption. For additional information visit roar-ridgefield.org.