Paws for the Arts celebrates doubled turnout since pandemic.

Published 5:12 pm Tuesday, March 28, 2023

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Suffolk Humane Society is celebrating that it exceeded its goals with the recent return of the Paws for the Arts Gala for funds raised due to a great turnout and support from the community.

Drawing city residents, local officials and therapy dogs, the Feb. 18 gala, held at the Hilton Garden Inn Riverfront, had participants in their best dresses and suits to view local artwork and participate in auctions.

“It was the first time since COVID we were able to host this event,” said Kerri Shallcross, Suffolk Humane Society executive director.

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“We had around 170 attendees, it was a blast,” she said. “I believe everyone who came had a great time. The Hilton Garden Inn did a fantastic job, the ballroom was set up perfectly and the food and drinks were delicious.”

Shallcross said the organization was able to exceed its $35,000 goal and topped its 2020 proceeds by $5,000.

“There were 96 silent auction items and 17 live auction items sold,” Shallcross detailed. “A special thank you goes to our sponsors, donors and the Hilton Garden Inn, because of them the event was successful. And thank you Mayor Duman for being the emcee for the evening.”

Sponsors from the event included Tidewater Animal Clinic, Suffolk Ruritan club, Mike Duman Auto Sales, Johns Brothers and Nansemond Insurance.

Shallcross said this good start to 2023 will be followed through the year by events that the Humane Society plans to bring to Suffolk this year.

She said their next large event is the Mutt Strut Festival noon to 6 p.m. Sept. 9. 

“This event is family friendly, both two and four legged and free to the public,” Shallcross said. “There will be food trucks, the K-9 team, a live band, vendors and the lure course. The kid area has games and other activities, your dog can bob for hot dogs in the dog play area.”

She also shared highlights on more events coming in the spring and summer.

“We have a quarterly pet pantry, and free microchip and rabies clinic,” Shallcross said. “The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office invited us to join their second National Crime Victims’ Rights Week kick-off event in April.”

Suffolk Humane Society will be the charity sponsor at the Tides Bark in the Park game Aug. 1,” she said. “Come see us on the third base line.”

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