A congressman dancing the moonwalk, our furry-faced friends dressed to the nines for a fun fashion show, a delicious dinner created by Millennium Centre Executive Chef Jean-Claude Seruga, presentations to the Humane Heroes and Outstanding Animal of the Year and a lively silent and live auction! This year’s 2013 Dogwood & Cattails Ball sponsored by the Washington County Humane Society was one to remember!
Ball chairs Cindy Bolton and Donna Cooper outdid themselves to make the event a success, along with members of the Humane Society Board. The group started working after the ball ended last year to come up with new and different ideas to make this ball the best ever.
“Even though the final figures aren’t in yet, I am happy to report we raised around $45,000 between ticket sales, sponsorships and the auctions,” said Bolton. “Another great year!
Many who attended said it was the best ball ever and a first class event. So many people have said it is their favorite event of the year. We are so fortunate to have so many wonderful sponsors and supporters who contribute so much to the success of this fundraiser. It is a great way to get the community involved in our cause of helping animals and the importance of spaying and neutering their pets.” Money raised at the ball goes to help low-income families spay and neuter their animals. The Humane Society also donates to the Washington County/Johnson City Animal Shelter for its emergency medical fund and other needs but the Humane Society does not operate the shelter. The shelter and animal control are operated by the City of Johnson City.
Auctioneer Kimball Sterling livened up the auction when he asked Congressman Phil Roe to model a replica of the black and red leather jacket worn by Michael Jackson when he performed the Moonwalk. The jacket had been donated to the live auction. Sterling threw a $100 bill on the dance floor to encourage the Congressman to do his rendition of the popular dance and urged audience members to do the same. Being the good sport that he is, Congressman Roe cut quite a rug and brought in a lot of additional donations for his dance.
Honorary chairpersons Joe and Lucinda Grandy have been loyal supporters of the ball for years. They open their home to abandoned animals and now have six dogs and eight cats. “I think we have an invisible sign in our yard that says all homeless animals are welcome,” said Luci.
Brenda and Jim Mooneyhan were recognized as this year’s Humane Heroes. They too open their home to unwanted and unloved animals and are especially active in rescuing senior dogs. “In the 25 years since Buster, our first rescue, opened our hearts to the plight of homeless animals, we have had the joy of adopting into our home over 30 dogs and 15 cats and have fostered countless others. It is our passion – our hearts’ desire, to do what we can for as many as we can in whatever way we can.”
Juno, a Belgium Malinois rescued from a shelter just days before he was to be euthanized, was named Outstanding Animal for 2013. Juno is a companion animal to Lucas Hembree. Lucas suffers from Sanfilippo syndrome, an inherited metabolic disease caused by the absence or malfunction of an enzyme needed to break down sugar molecules. Lucas’ father, Chester, found Juno and brought him home from the shelter. It was love at first sight for Lucas and Juno. Juno has the ability to pick up on Lucas’ neurological changers. “Now she alerts us when Lucas is about to have a seizure or if his oxygen levels drop really low. She has saved him several times,” said Chester.
The Humane Society Board is already hard at work on next year’s ball. The date will be announced soon.