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Humane Society Party

A Cause for Paws

Story by Bill Bannister  | Photos by Baxter Buck 

The Memphis Humane Society celebrated its 85th year of spreading the gift of mercy and joy by giving animals a second chance at life — and thereby giving people the gift of an animal’s love. This noble work is carried out by a host of kind-hearted and hardworking individuals who are dedicated to this mission. One of the year’s biggest fundraisers for the Humane Society is the Paw Prints Party. The affair was held at Memphis Botanic Garden and brought together more than 350 supporters who wined and dined amid the splendor of the gardens.

Guests had their choice of three fully stocked bars for beer, wine and cocktails before moving on to peruse the tables lining the walls with nearly 100 treasures in the silent auction. Items included gift certificates from Ballet Memphis, James Davis, The Dive Shop, Automatic Slims, Andy B and Oak Hall, as well as fine jewelry and artwork. Flutes of champagne were passed around to compliment an array of hors d’oeuvres, such as smoked salmon tartlets, lavash, and fluffy mini beignets served on a bed of rich, creamy Louisiana remoulade. 

Some party-goers strolled the beautiful grounds to admire the late afternoon ambience of the gardens while others mingled inside, getting a sneak peek at the live auction items, including a weekend stay at The Peabody, a Sand, Seas and Turf Destin Florida vacation package, a Little Red River getaway in Heber Springs, Arkansas, a Wheel-BAR-ow of wine and liquor, a Chef’s Choice Wine Dinner for six at Café Society, a Memphis Music Starter Pack including a collection of authentic Memphis music albums complete with a new Audio Technica turntable, as well as an original custom-made artwork by Ron Olson. Memphis artist Stacey Saed Ferguson was on hand to create a live masterpiece on a 28-inch square canvas that was auctioned off that evening.

Special celebrity auctioneer was WMC Action News 5 chief meteorologist Ron Childers, who also hosted Inside the Mission/Raise the Paw with Dr. Syron Oleson, Jessie Sidle and Linda Cook. Director of Marketing and Development Suzanne Ray said, “We are excited to have a sold-out crowd full of new and old supporters to build a bigger and better Humane Society.” Sponsors included Nolan Audio Visual, Paradox Catering, Century Wealth Management, Tennessee Carriers, FedEx Freight, Belz Architecture and Construction, Renasant Bank and Memphis philanthropist Dorothy Orgill Kirsch. 

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