PAWS Chicago, the city’s largest No Kill, humane organization hosted the 12th Annual Beach Party on Thursday, July 24 at Castaways Boathouse at North Avenue Beach. This year’s sold out event had more than 400 people in attendance, raising awareness about the pet overpopulation problem in Chicago and sharing the work PAWS Chicago is doing to eradicate the problem.
“Events like this are our lifeline, not only for the funds they raise, but for the awareness that we share about our important work and mission to transform Chicago into a No Kill city,” stated Paula Fasseas, founder of PAWS Chicago. “None of this could be possible without the generosity of our donors— including our 90 pet hosts this year, our sponsors, and the hard work of the event committee.”
The pet host committee of the event included 90 dogs and cats, including Burt Van Gorder, Mookie Styles, and Godiva and Frenchie Block, whose $500 sponsorships helped underwrite the expenses, allowing proceeds to support the important work PAWS Chicago is doing to build a No Kill city. Since the organization’s founding in 1997, the killing of homeless pets in Chicago has been reduced by 70%, but thousands of homeless pets are still killed each year.
PAWS Chicago receives no government funding and relies exclusively from the generosity of its donors and the success of events like these to continue and further its work.
Presented by Celebrity Cruises, this year’s Beach Party was the most successful to-date. Emceed by US99’s Lisa Dent, the 12th Annual Beach Party was co-chaired by Kimberly Gleeson, Cheri Lawrence and Christine Mallul. Lucky pups in attendance indulged in a doggie buffet and pampered treatments in the Pup Deck, complete with animal “paw-di-cures”, temporary tattoos and splash pools. Meanwhile, their human counterparts had a great time too.
Three homeless dogs had their lucky day at the beach party, leaving with new families. Melissa, Michael and Mikey Canning of Inverness adopted a Golden Retriever mix puppy they are calling “Lily”. A Great Pyrenees puppy “Gandolph” was adopted by Thomas Holl, and Lynn Block adopted “Desi”, an adorable Shih Tzu.
The highlight of the evening occurred during the “Bid to Save Lives”, when Frankie the sheep dog and his mom pledged an $11,000 matching gift for the “Heal the Helpless” Sick and Injured Animal Fund, a mission-critical program that pays for the medical care of sick and injured animals at PAWS Chicago.
Earning the opportunity to have their pets featured as the official 2015 Beach Party logo was Murray and Anne Marie Peretz, with a winning bid of $5,000. Corey Marchetti won a VIP “eat and greet” experience with three-time Grammy winning Zac Brown Band for $6,500, donated by Beach Party emcee Lisa Dent. “Chef Wanted” Winner Chef Rich Mancini personally auctioned off a private dinner for 10. After a bidding war between two guests, Mancini generously offered the same opportunity to each bidder, all together raising $12,500 for homeless pets.
For more information, see pawschicago.org.
PAWS Chicago’s 12th Annual Beach Party
Benefiting: PAWS Chicago
Location: Castaways Boathouse, North Avenue Beach
Date: July 24
Raised: not finalized