More than 250 grateful pet owners and animal lovers danced the night away at Naples’ Baker Park last Friday evening, celebrating the dogs, cats and other furry friends that helped them get through the last year and a half of the pandemic.
Honorary Chairs Patty and Jay Baker shared their personal story of the heartbreak of losing their beloved dog, Kizzie, just before the pandemic lockdown, and how adopting their two little 3-pound puppies, Tina and Diana, lessened their loneliness and brought so much joy back into their lives.
HSN Board of Directors President Shanna Davies, Executive Director at J.P. Morgan Private Bank in Naples, reflected on how her four-footed best friend Layla made her home office a place that she loved working, rather than feeling isolated.
And there was not a dry eye in the house when sweet little 5-year-old Charlotte Goodwin and her mom Amanda shared how visiting HSN’s von Arx Adoption Center in North Naples has helped Charlotte, whose fragile immune system has prevented her from seeing friends or going to school since the beginning of the pandemic, to blossom and develop a new-found confidence and sense of purpose and by reading to the kittens in the shelter every week. For Halloween this year, Charlotte said she wanted to be a Humane Society Naples Animal Care Worker, so she was presented with an official Animal Care Worker uniform for the day. Charlotte and Amanda, along with little brother Wesley, continue to visit the adoption center regularly, reading to the kittens and helping to socialize some of the dogs.
Executive Director Sarah Baeckler Davis reflected on the pandemic’s impact on Humane Society Naples, sharing that families adopting pets were rewarded with a newfound depth of companionship and unconditional love over the past year. Even some of the daily activities at HSN, ranging from the veterinary clinic, animal adoptions, and post-adoption training and support for families, have developed new efficiencies over the past year, and are now more responsive than ever to the community, without sacrificing the high standards of care for which HSN has long been known.
The 250+ animal lovers in attendance at the event opened their hearts, helping Humane Society Naples raise over $470,000 in support of their life-saving mission, before capping off the evening by dancing the night away on a perfect night at beautiful Baker Park. You still have an opportunity to be a part of this phenomenal event! Please help us in the final stretch to reach $500,000 that will directly support our vital mission, saving innocent lives across Collier County and beyond by donating today: https://bit.ly/3l0mKQE
Sponsors for the event included: Ken and Jackie Bennett Murray, Gulfshore Life, DeVoe Subaru of Naples, Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A., Garden District, Morgan Stanley – Marilynn Katatsky, Senior Vice President, J.P. Morgan, Artistic Science and Bellasera Hotel. Table Patrons for the event included: Advanced Wealth Advisors, Patty and Jay Baker, Paul and Sheila Demkovich, Generational Strategies Group, LLC, Judy and “Stanley” LeDoux, Rebecca and Nancy Maddox, Dolph and Sharon von Arx, Darlene Latimer, Brad Jamison and Greg Economos, Susan M. Ostrowski, Kathy and Tighe King, Cynthia and Jeff O’Brien, and John and Carol Walter.
Photos provided by Meagan McGregor Photography