It’s time to pull out those dust-covered bell bottom jeans and platform shoes for Second Chance Farm's Summer of Love Party.
Set from 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, June 25, at Warren’s Backyard (2901 Weatherford Highway), the 1970s-themed party will have everyone searching for the best peace sign accessory to complement their attire for the evening.
“Warren's Backyard is really all about being outside, so we really wanted to have a summer event,” Rebecca Faiola, who is producing the event for Second Chance Farm. “This whole Summer of Love party just really stuck in my head; it's going to be super hippie cool.”
The party will feature groovy party attire, face painting, a dance party hosted by DJ Jimmy D, live and silent auctions, a dog kissing booth, and 70s-themed baby photos.
"You wouldn't believe the participation we have (in the silent and live auctions),” Faiola said. “We have (gifts from) Pug on a Pontoon, Signature Beauty Bar & Fashions, and Wings Etc. We have live auction items from Bond Arms. We have a really cute pink pistol called the Mama Bear, which I'm going to be bidding on. We have a Granbury getaway package with Hotel Lucy. Brandy Herr has donated her book she wrote about ghosts in Granbury, as well as the ghost tour that she leads. We probably will have 30 silent auction items and baskets.”
There will also be a costume contest given to the best stellar attire with the most creative and “far out threads.”
“It’s all for a great cause,” Faiola said, adding that 100% of proceeds from the event will be donated to Second Chance Farm, a nonprofit special needs animal rescue and rehab.
SCF was first established in 2012, but owner Sandi Walker previously told the Hood County News that she’s been helping animals for more than 20 years.
Over the years, Second Chance Farm has become a home for not only special-needs dogs, but also donkeys, goats, chickens, cows, ducks, and pigs.
“Sandi just has an ongoing need for funds,” Faiola said. “I mean, I've had the opportunity to see her speak in front of two separate groups in the last two weeks and she tears up about the stories of these animals and it's very emotional for her. It's really a huge labor of love to support Second Chance Farm.”
Tickets for the event are $20 for adults, and free for children 12 and under. Tickets can be purchased onsite or online at tinyurl.com/t8cnpumb.
“Everyone loves Sandi and Second Chance Farm,” Faiola added. “Her whole thing is rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing, but she does have her little lovebugs that she will not part with, like Samsonite.”
Samsonite, a pit bull mix puppy, recently made headlines for being cruelly burned, stuffed into a suitcase, and discarded.
In November 2022, a judge in Bell County sentenced Samsonite’s tormentor Alex Soto Cruz to three years in prison for what he did to the seven-month-old pup in November of 2021.
However, a new development in Samsonite's case has recently surfaced, concerning a second suspect in the abuse.
Cruz and former roommate Keishaw Aquino-Rodriguez were both indicted by a Bell County grand jury last year on the charge of animal cruelty.
But when the pair bonded out of jail, Cruz came back to court and faced trial, while Rodriguez fled the area and has since been on the run for two years — until now.
On May 24, Rodriguez was booked into the Mahoning County Jail in Youngstown, Ohio, on an unrelated domestic violence charge.
Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene told WFMJ-TV that Rodriguez will "have his day in court before being extradited back to Texas."
"Animal cruelty is now a third-degree felony so he's got a felony on his record; we just have to get him back down here to do the time," Walker told WFMJ-TV on June 1. "We were at the sentencing of the first guy and we just about packed that courtroom and we will be there for this one too. I want to pack the courtroom for sure this time. I really do."
With Walker’s help, Samsonite has since recovered and now resides happily at Second Chance Farm.
SCF ROCK STARS
Samsonite, who is currently known as one of SCF’s rockstars, is also set to make an appearance at the Summer of Love event.
"Sandi has her animal 'Rock Stars,' but she is my 'Rock Star' farm girl who is living and caring every day for these animals," Faiola said, in an email to the HCN. "She's doing the work we all would do if we knew what all she knows. She's a real farm girl being born onto a farm and just knowing about animals and their care. I believe those of us who support Sandi truly believe her work is so very important."
Faiola said that several volunteers along with dozens of local businesses, merchants, and community members are coming together to make this event a "fun fundraising" time at Warren's Backyard.
“This will be the event of the summer,” Faiola added. “The goal is to have a big party, dress up, and have fun with our kooky costumes on.”
For more information or to support Second Chance Farm, email Faiola at firstname.lastname@example.org.