Fundraiser offers art, helps animals

Published 9:15 pm Saturday, January 20, 2018

Art enthusiasts and animal lovers will join forces to raise money for the Suffolk Humane Society at the fifth annual Paws for the Arts Gala on Feb. 3. The gala will be held at the Suffolk Riverfront Hilton Garden Inn.

The society’s programs and services are entirely funded by donations and fundraising events, said Board of Directors President Rhonda Jones, and this semi-formal event is one of its biggest fundraisers. She explained that this has a “different atmosphere” than the society’s other events, like the annual Mutt Strut.

“It’s for people who appreciate the arts and want to give to a local nonprofit,” Jones said, adding that not all of the art is animal-related. “The event’s open to people who are more art-related than animal-related. It helps to blend those two groups within the community.”

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The society hopes to sell more than 200 tickets this year. There will be more than 100 silent and live auction items for bidding. Councilman Mike Duman will be the auctioneer.

Art will vary from paintings to jewelry and pottery and almost anything else, Jones said. The live auction will include larger items such as private plane rides, restaurant dinners and other extravagant choices.

There are several tiered levels for donation amounts, each with their own perks and incentives. The society hopes for more “angels” — $100 donated each — and Monet Masterpiece donors, or $750 each.

Tickets come with hors d’oeuvres, wine bar access and live entertainment. Therapy dogs from the society’s BARKS program will melt hearts as they stroll through the party.

The BARKS program allows children to read to therapy dogs to gain confidence and improve their reading skills. It is just one of the many services the society is able to provide thanks to generous donors.

“We definitely are still looking for sponsors,” Jones said.

The doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and the live auction is scheduled for 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at the Suffolk Humane Society office at 412 Kings Fork Road, or Mike Duman Auto Sales at 2300 Godwin Blvd. For more information on tickets and sponsorships, visit, call 538-3030 or email