GIE+Expo has ‘gone to the dogs’
|By edited by Mary Elizabeth Williams-Villano|
Show attendees will have a chance to check out some new equipment and maybe even a new best friend.
For the second year in a row, a national pet adoption event will be held during GIE+Expo. Lucky’s Mutt Madness, conducted in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society, will take place Thursday, Oct. 17 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Freedom Hall at the Kentucky Exposition Center.
This year’s event honors Lucky the TurfMutt, the rescue dog who “pawed it forward” by educating children in grades K-8 and families about caring for our living landscapes and the benefits they offer through the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute’s TurfMutt program.
“GIE+ Expo is the leading industry trade show for landscape contracting, outdoor power equipment and hardscaping professionals and retailers,” says OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser. “Thousands of show attendees drive to GIE+ Expo, making it possible for many to take home a dog in need of a forever home," said Kiser. “And they have the heart to do it — because they know what a yard means to a dog and a family. These are the people who make outdoor living possible.”
Although Lucky passed away recently while at work at the TurfMutt Foundation in Alexandria, Virginia, his life's work — the TurfMutt environmental education and stewardship program, as well as a commitment to supporting animal rescue and pet adoption — will continue.
“We’ve named Mutt Madness this year after Lucky, but it’s all about finding new homes for dogs that need them while at GIE+Expo," added Kiser, who was also lucky enough to be Lucky’s “dog dad.”
“We are thrilled to partner again with OPEI and TurfMutt to raise awareness about pet adoption and to bring some pets in need of homes to GIE+ Expo,” says Robin Vincent, the Kentucky Humane Society’s Shelter Operations Director. “In shelters across the country, there are wonderful animals waiting for families to love them.”
Kiser also added that the search for the next TurfMutt has begun. “He or she will have big paws to fill, but given that so many dogs are in need of a forever home, I am sure we’ll be able to pass on the cape soon.”
During Mutt Madness, the TurfMutt Foundation and GIE+Expo will donate a $10,000 check to the KHS to support their good work in animal rehabilitation, rescue and adoption.
“With the help of the Kentucky Humane Society and Louisville Tourism President and CEO Karen Williams, we’ve brought together pivotal partners for Lucky’s Mutt Madness at GIE+Expo,” Kiser says. “After all, supporting the adoption of rescue dogs in my favorite city, Louisville, makes sense. I’m a University of Louisville alumnus and this city has been good to OPEI, GIE+Expo and me. This was another way for us to give back to the city that planted the seed for the show so many years ago.” Louisville has been GIE+Expo’s home since its inception 35 years ago.