“Fur Ball” Proves The Jersey Shore Has Indeed Gone to the Dogs
The Purr n Pooch Foundation for Animals hosted the Blue Moon Bark Ball, the Jersey Shore’s first black-tie optional gala for people and their pups at the Ocean Place Resort in Long Branch, NJ. The Fur Ball benefit took place on Saturday, October 9th, from 6-10pm, with event proceeds providing financial support and educational resources to New Jersey’s nonprofit, no-kill animal rescue groups and organizations.
Over 200 guests and 30 of the most polite pooches, unlike the unruly cast of The Jersey Shore, enjoyed a spectacular evening, raising over $80,000 for animal charities. Dressed in their finest ballroom couture from bowties to blinged out leashes and collars, attendees sipped on signature Blue Muttin cocktails and delighted in award-winning catered cuisine. The Eddie Bruce Band, a world-class group from Philadelphia, provided the swinging entertainment with music from a Tony Bennett tribute medley songs to tunes that brought both people and dogs to the dance floor.
Baby Duke, a Pug with personality plus was awarded King of the Ball, and TracyJo, a classy rescued greyhound, was crowned Queen of the Ball. TracyJo broke her leg weeks before the event at a racetrack in Florida, but this tragedy did not stop her from making a fashion statement by color coordinating her lovely blue bonnet and bandage. Tank, a huge mastiff, and Bella, a teacup Chihuahua, were too busy to watch the Awards as they rubbed noses in the event’s Starland Barkroom, a large off-leash play area constructed courtesy of event sponsor, K9 Grass.
As guests dined, Jean Hager of Monmouth Beach, Co-Chair of the event and Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals Treasurer, welcomed the room and spoke about the mission of the grant-making Foundation. An evening highlight was when Jean presented Honorary Chairs Mary and Dick Palazzo with a breathtaking portrait of the event Honoree, Grace, a stunning German Shepherd marked for death at an animal shelter and rescued and rehabilitated by trainer and animal behaviorist, Dick Palazzo of Tinton Falls. The stunning portrait of Grace was created and donated by Kramer Photography, Red Bank.
An emotional Dick Palazzo spoke about how Graceâ€™s story of being days from death after being branded â€œaggressiveâ€ inspired the creation of the Foundation by daughters Koren Palazzo Spadavecchia and Elizabeth Palazzo with the help of experienced friends Jean Hager and Maryann Small.
Guests were captivated as they watched Saving Grace, a short film describing how the misunderstood, emaciated dog on death row became the â€œBark of the Ball’s at the inaugural black-tie gala. The video, filmed and produced by Andiamo Creative Company, showed the now healthy, well-behaved German Shepherd playing and interacting with adults and children and portrayed the deep attachment she has with owner Chris O’Rourke. Grace’s story, though not uncommon, brought hope to the crowd as they saw potential in the millions of misunderstood animals killed in shelters across the county each year.
Guests left with wonderful memories and were eager to return for another pooch friendly social event on the Jersey Shore. The Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals is incredibly grateful for the Blue Moon Bark Ball’s successful turnout and hopes to make an even bigger splash for animals in 2011. Who knows, maybe even Snookie will join us on the dance floor?
About the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals
The Purr n Pooch Foundation for Animals is dedicated to providing ï¬nancial support and educational resources to non profit, no-kill animal rescue groups and organizations. The Purr n Pooch Foundation supports all species of animals, including but not limited to companion pets, farming animals and wildlife. The Board of Trustees include: President Elizabeth Palazzo, Vice President Koren Palazzo Spadavecchia, Treasurer Jean Hager, Secretary Maryann Small and Trustee Shannon Gance.