In honour of Puppy Love 5, Fire Vixen Tattoo owner and artist Sarah Eastick showcases the five dogs she has acquired and the Bull Mastiff she is currently fostering  all through GALS. She hopes to raise over $10,000 for the local animal rescue group at this years Puppy  Love fundraiser.  Photo by Breanne Massey

In honour of Puppy Love 5, Fire Vixen Tattoo owner and artist Sarah Eastick showcases the five dogs she has acquired and the Bull Mastiff she is currently fostering all through GALS. She hopes to raise over $10,000 for the local animal rescue group at this years Puppy Love fundraiser. Photo by Breanne Massey

By Breanne Massey

Pioneer Staff

Sarah Eastick is using the power of art to make a mark on a Columbia Valley cause that is dear to her heart.

The Invermere resident, who owns and operates Fire Vixen Tattoos in both Invermere and Golden, will be raising proceeds for Invermere-based animal rescue group Global Animal Lovers (GALS) at this years annual community fundraiser, Puppy Love 5.

She, along with several other tattoo artists, will be offering fresh ink to animal lovers and tattoo enthusiasts between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the Invermere Community Hall on Saturday, February 13th.

To that end, all eight tattoo artists participating in the mini tattoo convention-themed fundraiser for animals will be donating 100 per cent of the proceeds to GALS.

We have the ability to do a lot more tattoos, explained Ms. Eastick, noting that last year there were six artists and this years event will feature eight artists in total. The first year, we raised around $1,200. Last year, we raised $10,300, so were hoping to top that this year, which would be great.

Spectators are encouraged to come out to the admission-free daylong event to support the cause even if they arent interested in getting tattoos and take part by enjoying tasty eats from the bake sale and barbecue and placing bids in the silent auction. Local magician Jeremy Coyote will perform for children at 1 p.m. and there will be live music throughout the day.

In addition, the Puppy Love 5 event will offer a face-painting corner for children by donation.

You dont have to come get a tattoo to support the event, said Ms. Eastick, noting she understands that tattoos are not for everybody. There are other ways to support GALS without having to get tattoos. If people are curious about tattoos and how they work, theyre more than welcome to come and watch or ask questions.

As one of the many prizes at the silent auction, Ms. Eastick will be offering a two-hour tattoo session with herself (valued at $300).

The money raised from Puppy Love helps GALS cover food and veterinarian costs for rescued animals.

The cause is valued by all of the staff at Fire Vixen Tattoos (which is conveniently located next door to Choppers Pet Supplies GALS headquarters), added Ms. Eastick, noting that three of her four staff now own or foster animals from GALS.

In fact, Ms. Eastick has five rescued dogs from GALS at home and has provided a foster home for 30 GALS rescues during the time she has called the valley home.

Being part of a small town and a smaller community, I wanted to do something that would benefit the community directly and I love animals, she explained. I suggested to Cindy (GALS founder and Choppers Pet Supplies owner) that we could do some sort of small fundraiser for animals (roughly five years ago) and its grown from there. Having so many animals from GALS has been such a big part of my life.

The Fire Vixen Tattoo vision was to create a meaningful and family-friendly tattoo event that could benefit the community. While appointments booked in advance are preferred, there may be time for walk-in appointments.

The hourly rate for artists at Puppy Love 5 is $150.

The fundraiser will wrap up with an entry-by-donation party for adults (19+) that features a beer garden and live entertainment between 8 p.m. and 1 a.m., which will include performances from Emily Rawbon, Terez Goulet, Ben Benvenuti, Matt Shelson and DJ Shawn Ridsdale.

To book a Puppy Love appointment, call Fire Vixen Tattoos at 250-342-8844 or email firevixentattoos@gmail.com.

Participating tattoo artists:

Sarah Eastick, Fire Vixen Tattoos owner, Invermere

Jason Paine, Fire Vixen Tattoos artist, Invermere

Silena Ewen, Fire Vixen Tattoos apprentice, Invermere

Joey Riegling, Fire Vixen Tattoos guest artist and Ontario rogue

Paul Sutton, Yafinsati Tattoo Parlour artist, Cranbrook

Daniel Fowler, Perfect Image artist, Banff

Char Brehm, Pin Up Ink artist, Cranbrook

James Fletcher, Pin Up Ink artist, Cranbrook