The 26th annual, “Down the Rabbit Hole” themed Helen Woodward Animal Center Spring Fling Gala was “mad” success and a true “wonderland” of generosity. Saturday, June 7th resulted in a day of sheer amazement and Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) and all of their employees are incredibly grateful to all of their supporters, donors, sponsors, Committee Chairs, entertainers, hosts, restaurants, guests and volunteers. It was a beautiful night and a truly fabulous way to save more pets’ lives!
Three-hundred and thirty-seven guests were present to celebrate a night of delicious food, fabulous entertainment and fantastic live and silent auction items, raising an impressive net of close to $300,000 donated to support the pets and the programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center. The lavish affair was held in the Fairbanks Village Plaza in Rancho Santa Fe, thanks to the hospitality of Joe and Terri Davis, and was headed by Gala Committee Co-Chairs Rebecca Vigil and Marlaine Fetzer. Dave Scott from KUSI Channel 9 and Shelly Dunn from mornings on Jack 100.7 hosted the evening’s events.
Following cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the silent auction area, party-goers were treated to some of the finest cuisine in San Diego. Over 20 of the best restaurants in the city donated their food and staff to create delicious taste-portioned classic and innovative dishes, delighting the attending guests. Congratulations to Poseidon Restaurant in Del Mar, which received the “Best Restaurant” Award, Mia Francesca which took home the “Best Passed Hors D'oeuvres” Award and to Nora’s Baklava which took home the “Best Dessert” Award. Chef Kurt Waefler, an Executive Chef and Instructor from the San Diego Culinary Institute and Dee Biller, local chef, caterer, culinary instructor and consultant, served as the food judges.
When the “live” auctions began, Gala attendees demonstrated their true devotion to the Center. Top bids ranged from $4,000 for a Hawaiian Vacation package, $2,500 for a VIP Dave Matthews Concert Experience, an $8,500 bid for a private lunch with Oscar Award-Winning film icon and animal advocate Diane Keaton, and $15,000 for a 5-day Park Avenue Penthouse Getaway (generously donated by Center supporter and donor Linda Brandes).
“It was a wonderful night,” stated Helen Woodward Animal Center President and CEO Mike Arms. “Each year I get to spend this evening surrounded by guests, restaurants, donors, sponsors and supporters who all want to help orphan pets. Anytime I see this many people coming together for that purpose, it touches my heart.”
Every individual at HWAC, especially Mike Arms, works endlessly in support of orphaned animals from all over California. This group of animal-minded individuals has performed daring feats in order to save animals from harm and to get them placed in their forever homes.
This in no ways takes away from the remarkable feat of giving back to their community and ensuring that the people all around them are as provided for as the rescued animals are! For more information on Helen Woodward Animal Center or to make a donation, visit www.animalcenter.org or call 858-756-4117. They would also love to have you stop by HWAC at 6461 El Apajo Road in Rancho Santa Fe.