Local News

South Suburban Humane Society will mark 50th anniversary with return of annual gala

The South Suburban Humane Society is celebrating its 50th anniversary with its annual gala party set for Saturday, April 2.

“The Gala is our largest fundraiser of the year and provides much needed income as we care for more than 4,000 pets annually,” said Emily Klehm, CEO of the organization. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SSHS hasn’t held the fundraiser since 2019, which delayed the official 50th anniversary celebration in 2020.

Tickets are on sale through Friday, March 18, for the 6 to 10 p.m. event at the Tinley Park Convention Center. Individual tickets are $90 and can be purchased at: https://e.givesmart.com/events/pqA/

Guests will enjoy a dinner and be able to support SSHS through a silent auction and raffle. The program also will feature a pet parade of animals available for adoption.

SSHS has been providing resources for pets in Chicago’s South Suburbs for 50 years and will soon have a new home in Matteson. SSHS offers pets for adoption and does foster care for pets that need temporary homes. It offers a low cost spay/neuter service and veterinary clinic.

Supporters not able to attend the event can be part of the silent auction through its online bidding website at https://e.givesmart.com/events/pqA/signUp/

“For many years, we have utilized the phrase ‘the little shelter that could.’ We’ve been able to achieve so much for pets and people in our communities because of the unwavering support of our donors,” Klehm said. “Now we are here at this pivotal point in our 50+ year history about to call a new, modern animal shelter campus our home, and it is because of that base of support. I am without words to truly thank all of the people who have made this possible!”

Klehm said SSHS started as a volunteer-based organization in 1970. It’s first staff members were hired in 1973 when SSHS moved into a portion of its current facility at 1103 W. East End Ave. in Chicago Heights.

Today SSHS has a staff of 41 who work at the shelter, at the Homewood Adoption Center, in the clinic and at the SSHS resale shop in Steger.

“More than 400 volunteers annually give of their time to walk dogs, pet cats, help pets get adopted and support our fundraisers and we are so grateful to these individuals who care so much!” Klehm said.

The next big event for SSHS will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony sometime in June for the new facility under construction on Central Avenue just off the I-57 exit at Lincoln Highway in Matteson.

“We broke ground on our animal shelter campus in May of 2021, and we are now scheduled for completion at the end of May 2022. Like any project in the pandemic, we’ve been hampered by material delays and labor shortages due to COVID-19,” Klehm said. “However, everything is progressing beautifully now and we do hope to have a ribbon cutting and a series of grand openings in early June!”

Community Calendar


News by email

Subscribe to The Latest (daily headlines email)

* indicates required

View previous campaigns.

Free weekly newsletter

Subscribe to The Weeks (weekly newsletter)

* indicates required