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Rebecca Kochelek (with a basket full of kittens), Heidi Venters and Liz Logan

Molly Crawford, Courtney Jones, Michele Burnett and Rachel Hautamaki

THURSDAY, APRIL 24, 2014

Polar Bear, the 3-year-old terrier available for adoption at The Human Society of Sarasota County

PAWS ON THE CATWALK

LUNCHEON

by Heather Merriman | Black Tie Assistant Editor

Photos by Heather Merriman

More than 300 guests fashioned in white attire — many wearing white Tshirts with the hashtag #RescuesRock — joined in the foyer Thursday, April 17, at The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota for the eighth annual Paws on the Catwalk luncheon. The event’s theme #RescuesRock was coined by Co-Chairs Alex Miller and Chris Voelker, who used the hashtag to bring more awareness to the event and encouraged those to post their photos while enjoying the afternoon and supporting the cause. “#RescuesRock was to promote the idea that adopting a shelter pet not only saves a life, but is a cool thing to do as well,” says Christen Benson, The Humane Society of Sarasota County’s director of marketing. The day began with pop-up shops and a silent auction in the foyer, offering merchandise from local boutiques. Guests shopped until the luncheon began, carrying their items around in the stylish

silver totes provided by Influence Style, and some stopped in the State Street Eating House’s “Mojito Lounge” to grab a refresher. Following lunch, Ken Sons emceed the live auction, which raised $25,000. The lucky winner of the “Make Your Pet a Superstar” item contributed $5,000, and gets to see their pet on the cover of The New Barker. Contributing $1,000, Samantha Jennen won the “Your New Best Friend” puppy auction, bringing home a new puppy and, as a surprise, a second puppy was offered in the auction — Jill Raleigh couldn’t resist the fluffy retriever mix and won the auction, contributing $1,300 to the cause. Even more notable than the success of those items: the “All Aboard a 61’ Yacht” item went for $10,000. DJ Jonathan Cortez dropped beats (and sang a few songs, too) during Influence Style’s spring runway show, which was a mix of fabulous fashions and adorable pups from the shelter.

Co-Chairs Chris Voelker and Alex Miller

Shana Zamikoff, Monica Barth, Jill Middleton, Elena Reuter and Kimberly Manooshian

Heidi Lagro, Cheryl Clark and Chris Currie

Lucy Ledezma and Michele Burnett

Linda Rando, Pam Sullivan, Betty Huoni, Page Halpin and Kristi Cuza

Dana Ferreira, Ali Jaynes and Rian Jones

Debbie Ferro, Patricia Shelita and Terry Platt

Jessica Hays and Brigid Saah

Longboat Observer 4.24.14  

Longboat Observer 4.24.14