Our Second open house was on Saturday, September 12th, 2009. We had to compete with President Obama visiting Minneapolis to discuss health care reform and the first home football game for the University of Minnesota Gophers in the new TCF stadium. It was a beautiful warm afternoon when we invited clients, family and neighborhood friends (along with a few patients) to visit our clinic. We were celebrating nearly 5 years of being open in our new building. The event was a success on many different levels.
The University of Minnesota displayed 3 majestic birds, a bald eagle weighing eight pounds, an owl and a peregrine falcon. One of the handlers was the daughter of Toshimi Shimizu, a longtime client at Westgate. Facepainting was done by the sister of our longtime technician Hanna Evans. Photographs were taken by the nephew of our manager, Jodi Harrod.
For food we offered popcorn and lemonade. Judith Clancy managed to master the concession-style popcorn maker after the first patch burnt further than the France 44 parking lot. The lemonade was made with bottled water and everyone thought it was better than fresh-squeezed. Many companies that support Westgate were present with educational information including Novartis's presentation on protecting from fleas without an insecticide, Pfizer's presentation on zoonotic concerns of intestinal parasites, Hill's Nutrition presentation of treating arthritis with a special diet.
Our veterinarian presentations including Dr. Melin and Dr. Perry demonstrating the benefits of laparoscopic surgery, Dr. Hershey spoke to the younger visitors about preventing dog bites and Dr. Karlin overseeing how our staff can make flavored liquid prescriptions from tablets. Dr. Reed, Dr. Norton-Bower, Dr. Downie and Dr. Porter were also present.
The Westgate Staff provided the logistical help to visitors not miss any opportunities on both the main and lower floors. Demonstrations by staff included a billboard display of our AAHA accreditation, laboratory testing, digital radiography and dental cleaning.
Our special guests included Dr. Bennett Porter Jr, father of Dr. Porter III and original owner of the Westgate Pet Clinic, Jessie Marianiello of Stray Dog Arts, two Golden Retrievers from Helping Paws of Minnesota, Donna Cioni from cable TV's The Dog Show and client Jeff Robertson with his banjo and singing dog Lou. We had a raffle to win 2 pet portraits by Jessie with the proceeds all donated to Helping Paws. Thank you for a memorable event, we hope to try this again for our 10th Anniversary!