Goat fundraiser raises $10,000

Published 6:38 am Monday, September 14, 2009

If you’ve been the victim of a “goating,” at least you can say someone got more than a temporary lawn ornament out of the deal.

The Hormel Historic Home’s quirky fundraiser netted more than $10,000 for their building expansion project, executive director Laura Helle said Saturday.

From Aug. 15 through Sept. 8, at least 150 people were “goated” — a pair of pygmy goats was placed on their lawn, and they had to pay $50 to have the animals removed. For a $40 donation you can request a “goating.” Once removed, that individual can donate $40 and select a different target. “Goating insurance” was also available for a $40 donation.

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Many victims never even saw goats — they paid the money upfront when notified they were “next.”

Fourteen volunteers set up the “goatings,” hauling the animals from lawn to lawn and collecting donations. The 3-year-old pygmies were on loan from Stephanie Stark, a volunteer at the Hormel Home.

Helle said she didn’t know what to expect from this first-time fundraiser.

“10,000 is a pretty good goal,” she said. The idea came from a Hormel Home board member who saw a similar fundraiser in Okoboji, Iowa.

Approximately $1.86 million has been raised for the expansion project, which includes a large banquet room and kitchen.

“We had a project budget of $1.8 million,” Helle said. “As we are getting more funds, we are going ahead adding some features.”

Groundbreaking for the project was held last March, and the addition is expected to open to the public Nov. 2.

Helle said citizens can rest easy — there will not be more “goatings” any time soon.

“I don’t know if we would do it again,” she said. “The purpose was to be different and unusual.”