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‘80s Material Girl’ Wins Fundraising Pet Costume Contest



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Ava Lombardo asked, and the public responded.

Ava, a Newtown Middle School student and a big fan of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary, recently coordinated a Halloween pet costume contest that doubled as a fundraiser for the Old Farm Road sanctuary.

On October 31, Ava announced that Tavern, a dog dressed as “The ’80s Material Girl,” had been selected the winner of the contest. Tavern and her family live in Meriden, according to Ava.

Tavern will receive a $100 gift card to Your Healthy Pet in Newtown, and other contestants will receive runner-up prizes, also according to the contest coordinator.

Pet owners were invited last month to submit photos of their pets, in costume, to Ava. The middle school student then posted them to a dedicated Instagram page, @BestDressedPet2020, she had created.

She received 11 entries, including dogs dressed as a little devil, Batman, a unicorn, a demigorgon, and a wizard from Hogwarts. The first entry received was a photo of a dog named Whitni, who was posing with a pink leopard print bow on her head and a purple feather boa wrapped around her neck and torso.

Those sending photos were asked to also make a donation to the animal sanctuary.

The efforts raised over $100 for the sanctuary.

Ava, whose family has a Rottweiler-Newfoundland mix named Bella and a Havanese dog named Chip, told The Newtown Bee last month she decided to do the fun event because she loves the sanctuary on Old Farm Road. She is also on the advisory board of the sanctuary.

“I just really enjoy being there, and I also love animals,” she said. “It’s a great group of people there, and an amazing area.”

Tavern, who was dressed as “The ’80s Material Girl,” was selected the winner of a Halloween pet costume contest conducted by a Newtown Middle School student who wanted to raise funds for and awareness of the Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary. —photo courtesy Ava Lombardo
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