Sock hop benefits Will County Humane Society
BY DENISE M. BARAN-UNLAND Correspondent October 3, 2013 10:26PM
Betsy Schreiber of Joliet and the very vocal Ralph, whom Schreiber adopted in 2000 from the Will County Humane Society in Shorewood.
If you go ...
What: “Time to Travel Back to the 1950s”
When: 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lockport VFW Post 5788, 1026 E. Ninth St., Lockport
Etc: Hot dogs and sloppy Joes for sale. Free lemonade.
Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 children ages 5 to 12. Under 5 are free.
Contact: 815-741-0695 or visit www.willcountyhumane.com
Band information: Visit
Updated: November 5, 2013 6:37AM
Everyone is invited to don their poodle skirts, grease back that hair and come out Saturday to the “Time to Travel Back to the 1950s.” It’s an old-fashioned sock hop to benefit the Will County Humane Society in Shorewood.
“Some events purchase cages for the cat room or help pay for the dog run,” said Betsy Schreiber of Joliet, a longtime shelter volunteer, former shelter board member, owner of multiple cats, and manager for the Cadillac Casanovas, who will perform that night. “This one is just for the shelter’s general ‘kitty.’ ”
Billing themselves as “the guardians of rock ‘n’ roll,” the Cadillac Casanovas perform a wide variety of 1950 rock ‘n’ roll as well as rockabilly. Their vintage appearance and enthusiastic stage presence complete the show, which is appropriate for all ages, said Carl Schreiber of Joliet, guitarist and lead vocalist.
“Sometimes you’ll hear a band that appeals only to 20- and 30-year-olds while the rest of the audience walk away, but we’re not the typical loud and noisy rock ‘n’ roll band,” Carl said. “We pride ourselves on being family-friendly. We don’t use foul language or do things that might not be appropriate for a younger audience.”
It was 1998 when Betsy Schreiber decided to help her mother groom cats at the Will County Humane Society simply for her love of the animals, which runs in the family, Betsy said.
“My sister is a veterinarian,” she said.
Two years later, Betsy was serving as a board member. In 2010, she coordinated the shelter’s first sock hop. Betsy also has adopted three cats — two of them at the same time — from the Will County Humane Society, although she initially only desired one.
Newly divorced at the time and having lost her cats to the ex-husband who wanted to keep them, Betsy decided to open her home to a cat from the shelter. Betsy’s mother accompanied her to help find the perfect cat, Betsy said.
“She was on one side of the cat room and I was on the other, just looking in the cage doors, seeing how they would react to us,” Betsy said. “One cat was purring so loud and rubbing up against the door that I had to see him. I opened the door and he just reached for me. I picked him up, turned around to tell Mom I had found one and she turned around at the same time, holding another cat.”
Betsy called the pair “Simon” and “Ralph,” until she met Carl, who shares her devotion to the television show “The Sopranos.”
“We wound up giving them Italian Mafia nicknames,” Betsy said. “Simon is now ‘Simon the Sneak’ and Ralph is ‘Ralphie No-Neck’ because he’s a big, fat kitty.”
Betsy adopted a third cat, which recently died. Cojo (Spanish for “lame”) weighed just 3 pounds and had only three legs and a “pouf” of a tail, due to the umbilical cord having wrapped around them both, Betsy said.
“That cat got around faster than lightning,” Betsy said. “He got into places Ralph and Simon only dreamed of. All three were extremely loveable. No aloof kitties here.”
Through all the years of working with animals, Betsy still is amazed at the adaptability and overall friendliness of the shelter’s animals, despite their previous harsh circumstances. Perhaps, Betsy said, shelter animals simply appreciate life more than other animals.
“All animals are loveable,” Betsy said, “but the shelter ones seem to be a tad more affectionate than others.”
Betsy hopes between the general admission and raffles, the sock hop will raise at least $1,000 for the Will County Humane Society. Unlike other shelter-sponsored events, including adoption events, all shelter animals will remain at the Will County Humane Society for the night.
Carl said he and his fellow Cadillac Casanovas band members —Tracy Shepherd of Forest Park on drums, and Rick Uppling of Chicago on upright bass — enthusiastically agreed to play the first shelter sock hop after Carl realized the shelter’s need for additional funds.
The band is looking forward to enjoying an equally good time at Round 2.
“There’s a time to put aside any ego you have,” Carl said, “and do something for a good cause.”