Philadelphia Phillies fans-slash-animal lovers had the opportunity to meet players from the team and help raise money for the Pennsylvania SPCA at the first ever Ruppapalooza in Philadelphia on July 27.
The sold-out charity event—organized by Phillies catcher Cameron Rupp and the PA SPCA—was a total home run.
Held at Morgan’s Pier beer garden, Ruppapalooza was an evening of food, drinks, music, games, raffles and, most importantly, fundraising and adoption awareness.
Rupp, a devoted dog dad to three canines and all-around animal lover and activist, mingled with fans and even did a little bartending throughout the night. He was joined by some of his Phillies teammates and coaches.
Though the athletes were a hit, the six adoptable dogs were the real stars of the evening.
From sibling puppies Thelma and Louise (!) to senior heart-stealer Holly, there’s no doubt that Ruppapalooza helped these amazing animals find their forever homes.
And that, Rupp said, was one of his biggest goals of the night: to help local animals get adopted.
The athlete talked openly about his adopted dogs (including his first pet, which he adopted from an SPCA in Texas) and about the joy they bring to his life.
“Dogs don’t discriminate; they love you for who you are and are always happy to see you at the end of the day,” he said.
Rupp’s teammate, left fielder Nick Williams said he was thrilled to see the turnout for the event and that, if he could, he’d take all of the dogs at the event home.
Local attendees Katherine Orr and Mark Duszak, pet parents to two dogs, said it’s important for those with a platform, like Rupp and his teammates, to inspire others to do good.
Orr, an animal rescue volunteer herself, added that even if you can’t throw a fundraiser like Ruppapalooza, anyone who loves animals in need can always do their part.
“[Volunteering] at your local shelter only takes a little bit of your time and it makes a big difference,” she says.
And Ruppapalooza has already made a difference, raising over $33,000 for the PA SPCA.
“Animals and baseball are my passions and being able to combine the two has been a dream come true,” Rupp says. “My goal is to make Ruppapalooza an annual event, in which we take on a wide variety of animal-related issues and hopefully figure out a way to make a significant difference.”
If you are interested in adopting any of the dogs from Ruppapalooza or any of the other pets in need of forever homes, visit the PA SPCA’s website.