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HomeNewsArchivesDogs on the Catwalk: Fur Ball Raises Money for Shelter

Dogs on the Catwalk: Fur Ball Raises Money for Shelter

Jan. 25, 2009 — After strutting their stuff Saturday near the pool at the Palms at Pelican Cove, the dogs in the canine couture fashion show in the St. Croix Animal Welfare Center's 9th Fur Ball made a special stop to get petted and fawned over by Countess Nadia Denavarrio-Farver.
This tribute was fitting, because it was the countess who in 1977 initiated plans for the first ball. She had been to the Monte Carlo Fur Ball and, when told the animal shelter on St. Croix needed money, suggested St. Croix have a gala fur ball of its own. The countess presently has three shelter dogs of her own.
"This is a wonderful affair that gives people something different to do," said Yuri Farver, speaking on behalf of the countess. "The countess is fond of the animal shelter and loves the little furry friends."
Originally from Bulgaria, the countess has lived on St. Croix since 1976.
The seven dogs in Saturday night's show were all available for adoption. Gretchen Sherrill, communications director at the center, said people have asked about adopting two of the dogs.
Happy, a Crucian mixed breed — or, as locals say, "coconut retriever" — sported a gold and green lame costume designed by Donna Pasqarellie, a volunteer at AWC. Bison wore a bright orange life jacket as a rescue dog. The other dogs showcased fashions from Sadie's Pet Boutique in Christiansted.
"I loved the dogs in the show," Joan Stak said. "Especially Peaches."
About 120 people came out to watch the fashion show, dine and listen to Steve Katz play 12-string guitar. Attendees could also participate in silent and live auctions.
Some of the more than 50 silent auction items included gourmet dog treats, a Carambola golf package, parasailing, a half-day fishing trip and an original pencil drawing of puppies by Kenny Costello.
Kevin Jackson, assistant general manager at Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort, served as auctioneer with a voice as smooth as honey. Up for bid was a 14kt gold and silver enameled dog charm bracelet donated by Nelthropp and Low Jewelers. Peaches showed off the bracelet, wearing it as a collar. Also included in the auction was a three-night stay at any Divi Resort in the Caribbean. Another package was a stay at Tamarind Reef Hotel, a sunset sail on the Kindred Spirit and dinner for two at Duggan's Reef. Attendees could also bid on reinforced-steel kennel doors for the AWC's dog runs. They auctioned off several doors, meeting the shelter's need, Sherrill said.
"People were enthusiastic, bidding on a tangible way to help the animals," she said.
After the auction, Jackson said bids did not meet his high expectations, but probably indicated the current hard economic times.
"The commitment from donors is still there, though," he said. "There is a wonderful core of donors that will continue to give."
Despite the tough times, the organizers feel the ball was a success, Sherrill said. The amount of money raised has not been calculated yet.
"The ambiance and everything was perfect tonight," Linda Burrell said.
The ball was sponsored by Managed Freight, Marmarus Management Co., Quality Foods, Sadie's Pet Botique, the Palms and the West Indies Corporation.
The shelter provides animal-control services and works to fight pet overpopulation via low-cost spay neuter and humane education programs. Its goal is to find loving homes for all of its pets and does so through adoption programs.
The Fur Ball is the Animal Shelter's biggest fundraiser of the year and provides much-needed funds to support AWC's programs and services, Sherrill said.
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