(CNS Local Life): The Protection of Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) recently celebrated its eighth annual PAWS Under the Stars fundraising dinner at Grand Old House. With almost 200 guests, this year’s event marked one of the largest in the charity’s history, with the money raised supporting its various animal-welfare programmes in aid of cats and dogs in Cayman’s eastern districts.
“This is our biggest fundraiser for the year,” PAWS Founder Giuseppe Gatta said in a press release. “This is what will enable us to continue to fund our spay-and-neuter programme, our feral cat shelters, and, most importantly, our financial assistance programme.”
He added that PAWS currently assists approximately 30 families with more than 100 pets by providing monthly medication and food supplies. “Preventative medication, like Heartgard and NexGard, are essential to reducing costly visits to the vet in the future,” he said. “It is one less bill for them to have to worry about.”
In keeping with the star-studded theme of the event, held 2 March, arriving guests were greeted by the students of Centre Point Dance Studio, stated the press release. Attendees perused the dozens of silent auction items up for bid, including colourful Talavera pottery, fine wines and spirits, and handmade jewellery.
Andrew Bacon and Kelly Rooney were the emcees for the evening with Rooney sporting a black dress specially purchased from the PAWS thrift shop.
The dance students opened the entertainment with a number performed to “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, the hit song from Funny Girl. Continuing the theme, crowd-favourite “Queen” Angela Adams sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, “My Man” and “He’s Sure the Boy I Love”.
Following dinner, Bacon started the live auction, highlighted by stays at three luxury properties in Franschhoek, South Africa; Paris, France; and Algarve, Portugal, donated by Duncan and Amy Spence, the owners of Rickety Bridge Wine Estate; and a dinner for eight with wine pairings prepared in-house by local celebrity chef Keith Griffin, donated by Ristorante Pappagallo and The Lighthouse Restaurant.
Next up was the “off-Broadway” show performed by Gatta, Natasha Clark, Andrew Kronick, Radames Tognazzo, Cristian Crescente, Edward Gayod, Mark Edmunds, Ron Hargrave and James Dutton, described as “a group of intrepid gentlemen who are always willing to put on a show for a good cause”. This year, the men, dressed in sequins, performed a song-and-dance number the movie Mamma Mia! with choreography help from Anita Gough, Sophie Gough and Natasha Clark of Centre Point.
The date for next year’s event has already been set for Saturday, 20 March.