Spring Gala—“Western Wags & Whiskers: Gold Rush” – April 9, 2016
It was a Gold Rush to celebrate the VBSPCA’s 50th Anniversary! Our Western Wags & Whiskers: Gold Rush Gala sold out, with over 500 guests celebrating at Landmark Aviation on Saturday, April 9th. This event brought in over $215,000 for the animals of the VBSPCA—our highest grossing event to date! Our heartfelt thanks go out to this year’s co-chairs, Maria Ellmer and Emily Franklin, whose vision made the night truly special for everyone in attendance.
Guests entered through a Gold Mine, and struck it rich when they entered the hangar to find the room dripping with gold. “Guava Jam” kicked off the evening with acoustic country sounds while guests enjoyed a spectacular silent auction featuring unique packages. Bruce Rader, Sports Director for WAVY-TV and longtime VBSPCA supporter, emceed the evening’s program and was presented with the 2016 VBSPCA Lifesaver Award by past recipients Dennis & Jan Ellmer.
The evening continued as adoptable animals were then escorted by prominent members of our community in our Dog & Cat Walk. Walkers included Jackson & Mallory Andrews, Earlene Coyner & Joni Green, Luke & Stephanie Hillier, Leigh Folkes & Stuart Bonnell, and Jeff & Danielle Jones.
Auctioneer Scott Freeman worked the crowd for our fund-a-cause, during which attendees generously pledged $50,000 towards the care of the 3,500 animals anticipated to be sheltered this year. We also had a surprise auctioneer, Bruce Thompson, who gave guests a sneak-peak of the new Hilton Norfolk The Main, and auctioned off two exclusive packages.
Our guests enjoyed fabulous food and cocktails by Chesapeake Bay Catering, Back Bay Brewing and Tito’s Handmade Vodka. They tried their luck on the mechanical bull, panned for gold, bailed their friends out of the pokey, and ended the evening dancing with “Guava Jam” and DJ Ty Street.