6,000 homeless animals, each requiring a medical evaluation, behavioral screening, food, shelter and love ― that’s the minimum number of animals the Capital Area Humane Society cares for each year. The goal for each of these animals is a second chance: a safe and loving home. It costs a lot of money to provide for 6,000 animals each year. The shelter receives no government support, only funds donated by a generous and caring community, many of whom were at the 2011 Fur Ball, the Humane Society’s largest fundraiser of the year. This year’s Fur Ball was no exception. More than 340 guests attended the 2011 event on Saturday, April 16 at Eagle Eye Golf Club. Everyone was there that evening for one reason and one reason only — they have a love of animals and want to help them have a better life. There are many unique things about the Fur Ball; to my knowledge it is the only black-tie event in the community where you can bring your dog. Not only can you bring your pooch, but it’s encouraged! A huge thank you to Eagle Eye Golf Club for hosting, not just the invited guests, but the furry friends too. The evening kicked off with cocktails and a huge silent auction — more than 200 items including great art (donated by artists from our community), sports memorabilia, pet and kids’ goodie baskets, restaurant gift certificates, jewelry and beauty items and much more. Something for everyone. There was also an opportunity to have a professional picture taken with or without your dog. If the posed picture wasn’t for you, there was a free photo booth in the lobby, complete with props and lots of fun. Never ceases to amaze me how many people and dogs you can get in those little boxes at one time. Most fundraisers are about the humans who attend. Not so at the Fur Ball; this event is about the animals too — from the first-class Dog Spa, featuring a gourmet doggie dinner prepared by one of the committee members, to the doggie massage. Each pooch is escorted, one-on-one, for the evening by a Humane Society volunteer. After dinner, while the humans were enjoying dessert and a great live auction, the dogs were being prepared to make their debut on the runway. Oh yes, 50 dogs and their volunteers for the evening made their way to the dining room. Each pampered pooch, introduced by Jason Colthorp, evening news anchor at WILX TV 10, and Cheryl Fritze, host of Fritze and Friends on 1320 AM, was escorted down the 32-foot runway. I can’t begin to tell you how many breeds of dog were represented in the Pooch Parade. Many of them had been previously adopted from the Humane Society. Also included in the parade were a couple of dogs from the shelter available for adoption to the right family. All in all, a great evening, supporting a great cause. I know many of you, like me, are animal lovers. Plan to attend the 2012 Fur Ball; next year’s event is scheduled at Eagle Eye Golf Club Saturday evening, April 14, 2012. I’ll see you there!
Deborah Ginsburg is a community volunteer and is employed with Sparrow Health System.