PAWS-itively Delightful: PAWS Chicago Hosts 10th Annual Beach Party

The night was PAWS-atively sensational at the 10th annual PAWS Chicago Beach party held at North Avenue Beach’s Castaways Boathouse on Thursday night, July 19th.  With more than 400 guest and 100 dogs in attendance, this event raised $215,000 for the city’s largest no-kill humane society.  Every partygoer received a colorful lei upon arrival at the summer’s largest pet-friendly social gathering co-chaired by Renata and Robert Block and Virginia Stafman.

Once on deck, supporters enjoyed a lavish beach buffet courtesy of Stefani Catering that included hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, veggie burgers, salads, pizza, pretzels, ice cream, cookies and more fun food.  The doggie buffet offered Swirlz “pupcakes” and Licks’ all natural, liquid vitamin drinks as well as other treats.  The evening’s signature cocktail, “PAWS on the Beach,” kept guests fueled for fun as they danced to the sounds of Spoken Four.  The doggies, as well as their owners, were dressed in their best summer fashions with some sporting sunglasses, t-shirts, baseball caps and sundresses.  And even though the night threatened rain, it didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of this loyal group of PAWS supporters.  US99’s Lisa Dent, emcee and honorary guest of honor, introduced PAWS founder/chair Paula Fasseas.  “It’s great to see our community come together to help save the lives of homeless pets,” said Fasseas who founded the organization in 1997.  Volunteers were then introduced who presented rescue pups Hannah, Sponge, Mikey, Winslow and Clark to the crowd.

The live auction packages included something for everyone including the highlight of the night, a VIP package from the Boss himself, Bruce Springsteen!  This exciting auction prize included 4 VIP tickets to his September concert in Wrigley Field plus the opportunity to relax inside the VIP E Street Lounge before the show and his entire discography!  Susan Clack bought this one-of-a-kind opportunity and said she might give it to her pregnant daughter.  Veterinarian Dr. Tara Clack, Susan’s other daughter, was over the top with happiness.  (Her darling boyfriend, Mark Bell, will most certainly approve!)  Other auction items included the opportunity to have your pets featured as the official 2013 Beach Party logo.  Last year’s winners, Judy and Howard Tullman, had their two dogs and two cats featured this year.  Next year, Bonnie and Jim Spurlock’s furry family will grace the cover of the invite and all promo materials.  (They paid $8K for this honor!)  Lunch with Alpana Singh sold to Jimmy Meyer for $3500, VIP Lollapalooza tickets sold to Cheri Lawrence for $5K and a luxury trip to Beverly Hills sold to Nancy Timmers for $5500.

All in all, the Beach Party raised more than $215,000 for PAWS Chicago.  Their Lurie Spay/Neuter Clinic will provide sterilizations for more than 18,000 pets of families in underserved communities.  PAWS Chicago doesn’t receive any financial support from federal, state or local government agencies and is 100% reliant upon the community’s generosity.  Charity Navigator, the country’s largest independent charity evaluator, has consistently awarded PAWS Chicago with four stars, its highest rating, and honored them with national recognition due to their conscientious use of donor funds.

Since its inception, the number of homeless pets euthanized in the city each year has dropped by more than 50% from 42,561 to less than 18,000 in 2011.  For more info, please visit  Chuck and I own a PAWS dog, Rooney, and he couldn’t be sweeter!  I know there’s a darling canine or feline there waiting for you, too!  Stay tuned for coverage coming from this fun event! (Fab fotos by Mila Samokhina)

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