Titania K9 Fund hosted its annual fundraiser with a new theme, “An Evening with Therapy Dogs,” in the Santa Clarita Valley and raised $9,000 to help fund the Amerman Family Foundation dog therapy program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on Sunday evening.
An anime superhero figurine named Titania and her pooch K9 were the first thing guests were greeted with when walking into the Titania K9 fundraiser at Hart and Main in Old Town Newhall.
A couple of days after the event, Titania K9 Fund announced on its official Instagram account that the event raised a total of $9,000.
In the previous six years, Titania K9 Fund has hosted its annual fundraiser, “Tea with Titania,” in the Antelope Valley. This year they wanted a change of pace for a variety of reasons.
“The therapy dogs and volunteers, a lot of them live near Hollywood where the hospital is. And so, they were driving all the way out here for that. We thought, well if we’re going to change things up, let’s take it somewhere new … It seemed like a good fit,” Denise Kane said.
Seven certified therapy dogs ranging from ages 4 to 14 were present for people to pet and interact with throughout the evening, while attendees could also bid on silent auction items and enjoy classical music from guitarist Michael Murphy.
Titania K9 Fund is a third-party committee that helps raise money to benefit the Amerman Family Foundation Dog Therapy Program at CHLA. The program is entirely donor-funded.
Therapy dogs at CHLA help bring smiles, laughter and comfort to hospitalized patients and serve as additional support. More than 1,000 patients a month benefit from therapy dog visits, according to the CHLA website.
Titania K9 Fund was founded in honor of Tory Kane, a teenage artist and CHLA patient who benefited from dog therapy during her hospitalization due to a rare tumor.
“Titania and her therapy dog K9 honor the superhero spirit inside every child battling illness and injury … Tory Kane created the characters Titania and K9 in 2015 before passing away after her own heroic struggle,” according to the Titania K9 Fund website.
“I knew Tory before she got sick, and that’s who the program was started for. So now, it feels nice to be able to do something in her memory,” said Erin Gonzales, a long-time volunteer of the committee.
Gonzales said that, as someone who experienced the benefits of therapy dogs after she was hospitalized, she knows it can be a great help for children.
“Kids just have that love of animals and they know that dogs don’t judge them. You can kind of feel weird around people, especially when you’re sick,” Gonzales said.
Kane, the mother of Tory, has organized this fundraiser with her husband and volunteers every year. The Titania K9 Fund committee begins meeting in the spring and seeks sponsors to help fund the location, food, entertainment and auction items.
“One of my favorite things … we met so many nice people when we walked into businesses and asked them to put fliers up,” said Kane about her favorite part of organizing the fundraiser. “On a personal level … [some young adults] they’ve been volunteering with this event every year and some of them were my daughter’s close friends.”