Fundraiser on Saturday for animal lovers

Published 11:39 pm Friday, January 25, 2019

Tickets are still available for the Suffolk Humane Society’s sixth annual Paws for the Arts gala on Saturday.

The gala will be from 6:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront on East Constance Road. There will be both a silent auction and a live auction, heavy hors d’oeuvres served with beer and wine and four-legged friends collecting donations.

The silent auction will begin at 6:30 p.m., while the live auction will start at 8 p.m. Just some of the items up for bid will be gift baskets, jewelry, Smithfield ham and artwork by local favorites like Neil Duman, Nancy Dempsey and Ed Beardsley.


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“We have so many cool things,” said Fran Duman of the Paws for the Arts committee.

Therapy dogs from the society’s BARKS reading program — which lets children read to therapy dogs for learning in comfort — will stroll through the event wearing “donation vests.” People can then place donations inside the dog-wear.

Humane Society volunteers and staff are determined to promote the bond between people and pets through education, advocacy, adoptions, fostering and medical services. The society isn’t supported financially by any government entity and relies on dedicated donors, grants and fundraisers like their annual gala, which is one of the biggest fundraisers throughout the year.

This gala was the brainchild of the late Rhonda Duman Jones. She founded the fundraiser six years ago after she realized how many local artists were animal lovers like her. She passed away on Aug. 22, and there will be a tribute to her at the gala.

“This year’s event is going to be particularly special,” said Sara Johnston, chief executive officer and president of the board of directors.

Tickets for the gala are $50 and can be purchased online or at Mike Duman Auto Sales, 2300 Godwin Blvd. Visit and for more information.