Suffolk Humane Society holds Paws for the Arts 

Published 8:00 am Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Suffolk Va. –Saturday night saw Suffolk residents, city officials, sponsors, and even therapy dogs in their best dresses and suits as the Suffolk Humane Society held its 9th annual Paws for the Arts gala on Saturday, March 2, at the Hilton Garden Inn Suffolk Riverfront. The society’s biggest fundraiser, the gala saw attendees participate in both live and silent auctions, visit with therapy dogs, and enjoy special performances from the Cornerstone Ballet.

During the festivities, Suffolk Humane Society President of the Board Sarah Tatum talked about the fun night.

“I think it’s super fun to get out and dress up for a night and win some silent auctions items and do some live bidding. I mean, who doesn’t like to raise a paddle and win a bunch of stuff!” Tatum said. “Obviously, it’s a lot of work, but I think the culmination of people being able to enjoy coming into the community with their friends that they know and being able to support the Humane Society is really the most important part of this [effort] for sure.” 

Email newsletter signup

Along with various dignitaries, Mayor Michael D. Duman and his therapy dog Teddy attended the event while serving as the gala’s auctioneer. He reflected on late sister and Former SHS President Rhonda Duman Jones establishing the gala in 2014.

“It’s been very successful, it’s gotten a lot of community support,” Duman said. “It’s just to advance the mission of the Humane Society in their education process with the public and animal welfare programs. So, it’s been a huge plus.”

Duman expressed that SHS is “near and dear” to his heart, having served as a member for 14 years and previously as a board member and as President of the Board.

“I appreciate everything, not only what they do but [what] the citizens have done to support their mission,” Duman said. 

On what Tatum hopes people will take away from the fun-filled night, she said this:

“I hope that they feel like they are investing in an organization that is genuinely impacting the community in a positive way and that they are confident in what we’re doing every single day and that the mission really is of the Humane Society,” Tatum said. “And that they have enough of [an] education about us that they are able to help us spread that mission, even though they may not be a volunteer or a member… but just that they feel confident in us and that this was a fun time for them and something to remember.”