Wellington, FL- January 21, 2013- It was a fantastic night filled with western wear and a love for man's best friend as Big (& Little) Dog Ranch Rescue celebrated their second annual Howlin' Hoedown on Saturday, January 18. The social event was one for the books, raising a record amount of money and selling out weeks before. The Players Club was alive with over 200 guests in attendance, and becoming one of the top social highlights of the season.
The cool evening provided the perfect atmosphere for the start of the Howlin' Hoedown as guests were greeted at the door by some of the rescue's canine friends. After visiting and posing for pictures with the greeting committee, guests entered the event and were offered the Hoedown's Signature Drink, "Pooch Hooch." They then proceeded to the balcony to peruse over 150 wonderful silent auction items, ranging from a hand-made dog bed, restaurant gift certificates, spa treatments, tickets to area attractions and gorgeous themed gift baskets. The anticipation was high as guests furiously scribbled down their bids for the hot items of the evening.
|Big (& Little) Dog Ranch Rescue Committee members Cynthia Jackson, Carol O'Neil, Lorie Planco, Allyson Samiljan, Julie Tannehill, Hop Barron (chair), Betty De La Rua, Victoria Calebrese, and Krista Martinelli|
After the silent auction, guests sat down for a three-course dinner of salad, barbecue and homestyle cooking and "pup cakes". It was the opening video, however, that brought the crowd to tears as they saw the hard work and determination of BDRR and their staff to provide forever homes for thousands of dogs who may otherwise have been euthanized. The video provided a full explanation of BDRR's beginning, founded by BDRR President Lauree Simmons, along with vice president, Meg Weinberger.
Big (&Little) Dog Ranch Rescue has worked diligently to expand their number of lives saved, doubling last year's amount to over 2,000. "Help us in our mission to save dog's lives," said Simmons. "It takes everyone."
The heartwarming rescue has been a major influence in the Palm Beach community, acting as a beacon of hope for dogs of all breeds and sizes as they find them their forever homes. Situated on 28 acres in Wellington, Florida, the no-kill rescue provides shelter, care and affection for up to 125 dogs at one time before finding them each lasting homes. Since its inception in 2009, Big (& Little) Dog Ranch Rescue (BDRR) has saved the lives of over 4,500 canines.
|Meg Weinberger and Laurie Simmons|
"We have only grown because of you," Weinberger remarked.
Hope Barron, the chair of the 2013 Howlin' Hoedown, welcomed the crowd and thanked the wonderful, dedicated committee, and the long list of supporters and sponsors who made the fantastic night possible. Then State Attorney Dave Aronberg and BDRR Board Member and Volunteer Lorrie Browne spoke about how Big (&Little) Dog Ranch Rescue connects humans and animals. Browne went on to speak about how the rescue is saving more than just the lives of dogs, but also the emotional lives of people. With the Pets for Patriots Program, Big Dog Ranch Rescue helps veterans by giving them subsidized adoption fees. The dog receives a loving home and the veteran benefits from unconditional love.
Browne and her sister BDRR volunteer Denise Driscoll envisioned a program that would help connect people who have served in the military to the benefit of having a dog in their life. By partnering with the national organization, Pets for Patriots, BDRR is now helping improve the well being of patriots by pairing dogs with military members who will give them their forever home. The slideshow of the pups and their military families brought tears to the eyes of the guests as they saw the companionship that accompanied the program and its successful initiative. Guests began raising their hands with donations to help BDRR continue their mission to reward our soldiers' bravery and passion through the Pets for Patriots program.
|Dogs greeted guests at the door.|
Following dinner, Wellington's own Ben Boynton, worked his magic on the crowd, serving as the auctioneer for the live auction. Bidding was fast and furious for many unique items such as a five-day stay in a privately owned cabin overlooking the Smokey Mountains, won by Tamara Gerber; a one-year membership to the Palm Beach Yacht Club, won by Beverly young; a Day with State Attorney, Dave Aaronberg, won by Victoria McCullough; Sheriff-for-a-Day, won by Meg & Eric Weinberger; two beautiful bracelets from PANDORA debuting two new charms of theirs - the new dog charm called Buddy, won by Joe & Kathy Curly.
After the live auction, the crowd enjoyed the music of the local, favorite country band, Midnight Cowboy. A local instructor led the crowd onto the dance floor, putting the array of cowboy boots and hats to work as they line danced the night away.
Since its inception in 2009, Big (& Little) Dog Ranch Rescue has saved over 4,500 lives. It takes a lot of funds and volunteering to help succeed in their mission; however, BDRR finds loving human companions for these compassionate animals. Without gracious donations and sponsorships, their mission would not be able to be fulfilled. BDRR also promotes animal welfare and celebrates the special bond between dogs and people through education, awareness and community outreach. This outstanding organization is associated with the Weimaraner Rescue & Adoption of Florida and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. To learn more about Big Dog Ranch Rescue or to adopt a dog, please visit www.bdrr.org or call (561)309-3311.
Photo Credits: (1) Big (& Little) Dog Ranch Rescue Committee members Cynthia Jackson, Carol O'Neil, Lorie Planco, Allyson Samiljan, Julie Tannehill, Hop Barron (chair), Betty De La Rua, Victoria Calebrese, and Krista Martinelli (2) Meg Weinberger and Laurie Simmons (3) Dogs greeted guests at the door. Photos By: Phelps Media Group. Photos may only be used in relation to this PMG press release.