Alaqua releases video of ‘Rescue Me’ webcast

special to Gannett Florida

FREEPORT— Alaqua Animal Refuge hosted its first virtual event, “Rescue Me,” on May 16 honoring rescue animals and the souls that love them.

The online live webcast was a fundraiser created to supplement the loss of two spring events and provide a funding bridge during this time of need due to COVID-19 and social distancing efforts.

Hosted live by Alaqua founder Laurie Hood, this unique event brought together a gallery of special guests and rescue videos. For those that registered and watched the event live, it also included exclusive features and clips.

Based on the overwhelming popularity of the live webcast, Alaqua decided to release a video for people to watch who may have missed it and give them an opportunity to see it in an edited form. The highlights video can be viewed at

Jam-packed with supporters and incredible stories of animal rescues, the video highlights appearances by Alden and Emeril Lagasse; Kenan Thompson of “Saturday Night Live” fame; Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia Line and his wife Brittney with Tribe Kelley; John O’Hurley, known for his role as J. Peterman on the NBC sitcom “Seinfeld”; Cathy Bissell, founder of the Bissell Pet Foundation; singer/songwriter Eric Lindell; Jon Nite, a CMA and ACM award-winning singer/songwriter who has written top 10 hits for the likes of Luke Bryan and Kenny Chesney; Billy Dawson, Nashville Industry Awards “Artist of the Year.” and more.

“The live event was so successful, and we heard from so many supporters about the enjoyment it brought to them that we wanted to share some of the highlights with those that couldn’t see it,” Hood said. “I am eternally grateful and thankful to all the guests that joined us, and all the people that helped pull it together. It was truly amazing, and the highlight of my year!”

As one of the first guests on the live webcast, Chef Emeril Lagasse said, “I just want to thank (Laurie) for all your efforts and for the unbelievable love that you share with animals and people.”

Alaqua operates solely on funds raised through private donations and fundraising, and any donation is appreciated to help keep the Refuge operational and be able to keep providing the services and programs to further its mission of providing animals with shelter, safety, and second chances.