Goatlandia mixes animals, music and art for sanctuary gala in Sebastopol

The inaugural Goatchella, held at Goatlandia’s Sebastopol animal sanctuary, featured a vegan menu and lively entertainment.|

Rescued goats and sheep mingled with 120 guests at a Sebastopol animal sanctuary Aug. 27 during the inaugural Goatchella fundraiser gala.

The sold-out event, which raised over $65,000 for nonprofit group Goatlandia through auctions and $150-$250 tickets, featured live music from local bands Stax City and Beso Negro, live painting by Monterey artist Amy Burkman and a vegan menu created by Goatlandia’s founder and executive director and vegan chef Deborah Blum.

“It was a fun, casual time,“ said Goatlandia’s marketing and fundraising head Marie Rochelle Macaspac.

Burkman’s large-scale painting of a goat, created in front of the crowd was purchased for “several thousand dollars” during the live auction, Macaspac said.

Another popular live auction item was a dinner prepared by Blum and Tamearra Dyson of Oakland’s Souley Vegan. Dyson is famous for beating Bobby Flay on the Food Network competition “Beat Bobby Flay.”

The event’s silent auction also featured paintings of goats and sheep, including resident Goatlandia animals like Nimbus the sheep, donated by local artists.

Blum, who has been running Goatlandia’s commercial vegan kitchen out of a space near the Barlow since last year, served puff pastry bites with smoked mushrooms, beluga lentils and her vegan arancini, an Italian rice ball with savory filling. Blum's plant-based catering business supplements fundraising for the nonprofit and promotes animal welfare in line with Goatlandia’s purpose.

Founded by Blum in 2017, Goatlandia has grown from a 2-acre property in Santa Rosa to its current 38-acre sanctuary in Sebastopol, housing more than 100 rescued animals, especially male goats who have been rescued from dairy farms. Macaspac said a few animals with special needs are still living at the Santa Rosa location.

The money raised from Goatchella will help the organization complete construction on the Sebastopol property’s barns and enclosures that the group has been working on since purchasing the land a few years ago.

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