Over 400 animal-lovers at PAWS Chicago’s Beach Party

PAWS Chicago, the city’s largest No Kill, humane organization hosted its 12th Annual Beach Party at Castaways Boathouse at Chicago’s North Avenue Beach on July 24. More than 400 people attended the event, designed to raise awareness about the pet overpopulation problem in Chicago and the work of PAWS Chicago.

“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 work of PAWS Chicago. Since the organization’s founding in 1997, the killing of homeless pets in Chicago has been reduced by 70 percent, but thousands of homeless pets are still killed each year.

PAWS Chicago receives no government funding and relies exclusively on donations and fundraisers.

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.

Pups attending 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 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 were 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

Attended: 400+

Website: www.pawschicago.org

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