Puttin' on Top Hat and Tails
BY MARY ELLE HUNTER
Special to The Pilot
The actual name of the fundraising affair is "Puttin' on the Ritz: Top Hat and Tails," but no matter what it is called, the gala event on Monday evening, Dec. 6, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Pinehurst's Fair Barn will benefit the work of Animal Advocates of Moore County.
It is the fourth year that the group has staged a Top Hat and Tails evening, and the organizers hope it will "top" all the others.
For those not aware of the scope of Animal Advocates, it is an organization committed to all aspects of animal welfare in Moore County, including animal rescue, foster care and adoption. Started 10 years ago by Maureen Burke-Horansky, with just a handful of others interested in promoting compassion and protection for all animals, the membership of Animal Advocates has grown to 1,200 individuals. More than 50 active volunteers work under the direction of Barb Shepherd, director of operations.
The evening's highlight is a Red Carpet Pet Parade. Plans call for 12 black and white dogs and 12 black and white cats to be escorted to the Fair Barn by classic autos of the Antique Automobile Club of America and led by Tracker, the WRAL weather dog.
This year, the Pet Parade will also have three black and white rescued horses, courtesy of Frank Ringleburg of Animal Control. Some of the animals will be accompanied by the reigning royalty of the local Miss Moore contests for varying ages. The animals that have been chosen to be in the parade have been in foster care of Animal Advocates volunteers, and all are adoptable.
Katie Roscoe, publicity chair for the group, explains that solid black or black and white animals are among the hardest to place for adoption.
"We want to give them the best chance possible to find a good home," she says.
Coordinating details for the gala evening with Barb Shepherd is Susan Vance, president of Animal Advocates. The two enthusiastically report that the event features fabulous food, wine and beer, a silent auction and a Christmas "giving tree."
The silent auction has more than $10,000 worth of items waiting for bidders. Included are 14 different golf packages, a Myrtle Beach accommodations package, a tennis clinic at a local country club for 6 to 12 people and an Italian dinner for six. The list also includes appliances, a skin care package, a hand-painted dog bed and Carolina pottery, to name just a few of the many attractive articles displayed on the silent auction tables.
Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be catered by The Lunch Box That Rocks, with desserts being provided by Kraz Cakes, Golden Corral and Sweet Feed.
And what dog or cat lover will be able to resist the Christmas "giving tree"? It offers a chance to sponsor a rescued dog or cat whose picture has been created as an ornament on the tree.
The purpose of Top Hat and Tails is all about the animals, says Susan Vance.
"We depend entirely on donations to finance the work of Animal Advocates, and last year between 800 and 900 animals benefited from our care," Vance says. "We presently have seven foster homes for dogs and 10 foster homes for cats, and we are always looking for new foster parents."
Proceeds from the event support the ongoing programs of the organization, such as an emergency phone line, lost and found animals, foster care and adoption, surgery and emergency care, financial assistance with spay/neuter and the feral cat sanctuary.
"We are counting on a successful event this year," says Katie Roscoe. "As the economy has taken a downturn, there has been a drop in donations, and at the same time the number of animals needing help is increasing. We encourage all animal lovers to help us continue our work by coming to Top Hat and Tails."
Tickets are $40 and can be obtained by calling the Animal Advocates office at (910) 944-5098 or purchased at The Country Bookshop, The Cared for Canine and Cat or Moore Equine, in Southern Pines; The Faded Rose, in Pinehurst; and West End Animal Health Center on N.C. 211.
For more information on Animal Advocates of Moore County, or to make a donation to the organization, refer to the website aamcnc.org.
Contact Pinehurst writer Mary Elle Hunter at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More like this story