Owner of a handsome Brittany spaniel named Duster, Marsha Howe of Marsha’s Designs (L) with Torval and Jennifer Mork of Fathom Energy. Alex Burroughs/For the Calgary herald
The Calgary Humane Society’s signature event has gone to the dogs — in the best way possible. More than 300 guests stepped out to Cocktails for Critters this year at the Hyatt’s Imperial Ballroom for a fabulous night of food, friends and even a Celebrity & Pooch Fashion Show.
Guests mingled and supped on an eclectic mix of offerings, including an outrageous dessert table and cake pop station, before hitting the silent auction tables and donor wall, which enabled animal enthusiasts to give directly to the care and well-being of animals.
Auctioneer Bill Brown led a rousing live auction, which included wonderful weekend getaways to Le Cordon Blue in Ottawa, the Emmy Awards in Hollywood, and VIP treatment at Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans. The auction heated up over a designer doghouse by Mark Russell of Avant Homes and Gardens. In the end a very lucky guest went home happy with a new custom-built home for her pet.
The evening was led by the ever-spirited and charming emcee Kyle Shewfelt, who also participated in the Celebrity & Pooch Fashion Show with his beautiful and well-mannered dog, Cooper. Other local celebs dressed in fashions by Crabapple Clothing Company and Forman’s Fashion Group included: W. Brett Wilson and his dog (Johnny) Cash Wilson; former Calgary Flames forward Craig Conroy; CBC’s Nirmala Naidoo; CTV’s Aisling Tomei; 101.5 Kool FM’s Niki Reitmayer and Tarzan Dan; as well as Alberta Ballet dancers Mark Wax, Emily Collier, Nicole Caron, Alexandra Pera and Reilly Bell.
Honorary event chair Laureen Harper came without husband Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who may have been at home looking after myriad family pets, including cats Gypsy and Stanley, and Charlie the Chinchilla, who was adopted through the Ottawa Humane Society. Laureen Harper has been a passionate animal enthusiast since growing up in Turner Valley, where she often cared for stray pets and rode horses. At Cocktails for Critters she spoke warmly of her long-standing work with humane societies across the country and encouraged people to continue to give generously. Guests enthusiastically heeded her words and the evening raised an incredible $240,000 for the care and services of our city’s animals in need. Calgary’s shelter is currently caring for 693 animals.
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