Like most soon-to-be 11-year-olds, Kai Bass hopes to have a boisterous, extravagant birthday celebration, with only one exception.
Her birthday gifts this weekend will not be for herself, but for her four-legged friends.
“My plan is to donate money, blankets and toys to dogs and cats instead of getting birthday presents,” Kai said. “I really like dogs and cats. They are so cute and adorable, so I think they deserve to be happy and loved.”
With help and encouragement from her parents and siblings, Kai requested her birthday be used as a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Central Texas. Her father, Shannon Bass, an employee at L3 Technologies, organized a party for Saturday at the Bare Arms Brewing, 2515 LaSalle Ave., in partnership with the brewery.
“I am super proud of her, to be so selfless and want to help,” Bass said. “Animals just love her, and this was her idea from last year but this was the first thing she said when we started talking about her birthday this year.”
The Bass family, including Faith Bass, 17, Tag Bass, 14, and mother Rebecca Kolosci, visited the animal shelter Thursday to visit animals and finalize plans for the party. Volunteer coordinator Mike Gray said the Humane Society was excited to hear about Kai’s intentions and will bring its adoption trailer to the event Saturday.
“You can’t put it into words what it means for someone who wants to do something like this,” Gray said. “Something like that would never have even crossed my mind when I was that young. For her to want to do that is just incredible.”
Gray said he will have several animals available for adoption to greet party-goers at the brewery. He said more than 90 dogs and dozens of cats and kittens are up for adoption.
“We always need fosters for cats with kittens coming in, because it seems about four to five times a day cats or kittens come in,” Gray said. “We are always needing volunteers and donations to help the animals we have out.”
In the spirit of meeting those needs, Kolosci, a Riesel Independent School District teacher, posted an invitation to Facebook advertising her daughter’s birthday fundraiser. She said she knows of about 60 people interested in attending the party and hopes the event will grow in size.
“Every time we go by the humane society, it is always like, ‘Can we go, can we go?’” Kolosci said of Kai’s reaction. “That is all she ever wants to do. She just wants to be with the animals, and it doesn’t even matter if it is a snake, a lizard, a dog or a cat. She is all about animals.”
The birthday fundraiser is scheduled for noon to 5 p.m. in Bare Arms’ event space. All donations are encouraged, and anyone who wants to donate is welcome to attend, Kai said.
“I think they all deserve love, food, water and some toys,” she said. “They really just need food, water and a home.”