18 months in the making, all those preparations, and poof: It’s gone! If you’ve ever planned a dog friendly event, you know how much work goes into it. It must be a labor of love because it becomes all consuming, especially as you near the event.
On Saturday, April 16th, yours truly and her spouse, hosted Wigglebutts Uncorked at America’s Oldest Winery, Brotherhood, in Washingtonville, New York.
NYC Second Chance Rescue is a 501(c)3 formed in 2009. They are of the firm belief that all animals deserve to be loved and cared for, and that no animal should ever be abused, neglected, or homeless. Their mission is to facilitation the adoption/re-homing of animals that have been abandoned or given up by their former owners, and to place them in new loving homes.
Who is Wigglebutt Warriors®?
Fidose of Reality is here to empower and teach others to help dogs who have no home, have been abused/neglected, and are seeking their forever homes. We are doing that through our fundraising arm of the blog, which is called Wigglebutt Warriors. This is our third gala fundraiser, and we are not a big “group.” We are Darlene and Carol Bryant and we are two women on a mission to educate and change the way dogs are treated in this world. We do everything ourselves from the sponsors to the swag bag stuffing to securing a venue to hosting to inviting and so on….and our goal is to help rock rescue and dogs in need!
The funds raised from this benefit pet-welcoming gala fundraiser go to NYC Second Chance Rescue.
The fundraiser took place on April 16, 2016, with an after party on Sunday, April 17th. It was our most spectacular, wigglebutt inducing, smile-filled, event to date. Here’s how it went down, pawprint by pawprint:
Guest Arrival and Red Carpet
Diamond and Premier Sponsors hosted the red carpet welcome, where guests, including 200 humans, 60 dogs, and one couture cat, hit the red carpet to pose, have a souvenir photo snapped, and so that the memories could be shared with media post event.
Brotherhood Winery served as the location for the gala fundraiser. The rich history and gorgeous decor added to the fundraising flavor of the evening. It is located in Washingtonville, New York, and about an hour and 20 minutes from New York City.
Here are some red carpet moments taken by official event photographer, Juli Dritz Cialone of Cialone Photography:
An hour of getting seated and mingling along with some delicious hors d’oeuvres and getting pets into selfies followed. At 7 p.m., the magic of the evening began. Guests sat down to this beautiful setting, with a swag bag of amazingness, filled with toys, coupons, treats, special offers, and much more.
Also at the place setting was a gift from sponsor Dancing Dog Soap Company.
Lorien Clemens, the 2014 Women in the Pet Industry Woman of the Year, and Executive with PetHub, took to the microphone to introduce Andrea Arden.
On television, Andrea can be seen on Animal Planet’s shows Dogs101, Cats101, Pets101, and America’s Cutest Dog and America’s Cutest Cat. She was the trainer for Underdog to Wonderdog and The Pet Department, FX’s Emmy award winning daily show, and is a frequent contributor for the Today Show, Live with Kelly and Michael, and numerous other media outlets.
And then the vow renewal of Carol and Darlene Bryant began. Here is the official page from the gala program that explains it all and why a vow renewal took place at a dog friendly fundraiser:
Reverend Ann Marie Acacio served as official celebrant of the ceremony, and she is the original reverend who married us on June 12, 2014, after being together for then 20-years.
Our dear friends came from all over the country and Canada to celebrate:
Lorien Clemens performed a stunning solo of the Linda Eder song, “It’s Only Love,” and official videographer, Audrey Black of Pure Love Films, captured the evening. Bryn Nowell of A Dog Walks Into a Bar taped the entire ceremony, and expect a video to follow on the blog soon.
Smorgasbark and Dinner/Dessert
After a very happy tear-inducing vow renewal, the official Smorgasbark for the evening opened for all dogs and cat in attendance. Dr. Harvey’s serves fine health foods (and more) for companion animals. A complete bar was on display, and food was dished out in disposable bowls and made fresh on the spot. Each guest received a Dr. Harvey’s packet of nom noms to take home. Warning: The Power Patties and Coconut Smiles are oh-so-addictive. My dog cries for them!
Human guests feasted on a wonderful array of dishes served buffet style.
Carol’s maid of honor, Christine Aiello, baked and decorated a gorgeous three-tiered wedding cake for guests:
And Sweet Paws Bakery gave each guest a wine bottle doggie treat with a slice of doggie cake from their yum-tastic bakery:
Merrick Pet Care and Baby Joey
Baby Joey is a dog who was saved by Second Chance Rescue. He was found as a puppy with nearly both of his rear paws chopped off: By an unspeakable monster. There is but one thing that will trump the horror of monsters: And that is love. Our friends at NYC Second Chance Rescue are fostering Baby Joey, who is seeking a forever home. His foster mom, Regina Mendoza, is herself an unspoken hero, fostering over 120 dogs in her just over a year’s time. That’s a whole lotta love and a really big heart.
Well, Baby Joey’s care has been assisted by the amazing folks at Merrick Pet Care: From his therapy to his treatments to his prosthetic limbs x2. And to top it all off, Joey has been growing and thriving and eating Merrick Classic Dog Food, see?
Baby Joey took center stage after a very amazing #BestDayEver video that will follow soon. He ran a lap of sorts with his foster mom, and he really is a true love bug. His doggie DNA was tested and his forever family will adopt a pooch with the following breeds: (and you know you know someone who would love this boy, right?) Yep, that’s right: Help us get Baby Joey a loving, forever home!
My Pet Harmony
The founders of My Pet Harmony, Rick and Ryan Vayo, also Diamond Level Sponsors of the event, took center stage. My Pet Harmony strives to efficiently match people with the perfect pet waiting for them at an animal shelter and to generate and sustain a population of responsible and happy pet owners.
The Vayos shared news about Landis, who was rescued by Second Chance Rescue, adopted by the Vayos, and is now a success story, see? Landis won a Wiggy Award for Outstanding Rescue Pet:
The Pup Scouts
Next, the cutest ensemble of singers and their dog moms took center stage. Remember being a Cub Scout or a Girl Scout? Imagine if someone did the same for dogs and created PupScouts, where dogs of all shapes, sizes, and ages are welcome to earn a variety of badges, have fun, and help others less fortunate. Someone did, and that someone is Susan Godwin and Jennifer Jo Moyer.
Our dog, Dexter, is a PupScout and he has earned badges for many things. Your dog can be a PupScout no matter where you live. There is even an online group!
Members from the founding troop performed two songs and earned their singing badges, set to the tunes of For Once In My Life and You Are My Sunshine:
The 2016 Wiggy Awards
The Wiggys are awards that honor dogs (and cats) in a variety of categories and celebration of giving back. This year’s Wiggy Awards are sponsored by My Pet Harmony. For the entire judging process, the winners, and the prizes, be sure to:
CLICK THIS: Wiggy Award Winners 2016
Official Doggie Designer
Dexter and his blonde gorgeous girlfriend, Coco Chanel Bella, wore Belle Diva Couture. Me, I wore David’s Bridal 😉
Need apparel for your pooch for Wigglebutts Uncorked (or any occasion): Meet Dexter’s official designer for the event who is taking orders!!! Meet Janice Craig of Belle Diva Couture here.
Here are the canine kids in their finest:
The one and only Chloe Kardoggian TM and her canine pack mate, Angel, attended Wigglebutts Uncorked as exclusive dog media members. In addition, top dogs and cats that are well known on social media were in attendance. Bark is the new black, after all.
Doggie *and Human* Dancing
Fun on the dance floor, of course!
Touch of Class DJ – CT Mikie G spun the dance music and set the mood for the evening. Mikie G is available for your DJ needs and is a fab guy, Cocker dad, and has been our DJ every fundraiser to date. Say hello and check him out:
Raffles and Prizes
One lucky attendee won their very own custom miniature of their pet courtesy the one and only Lucy Maloney. You can read all about Lucy here and then look below for the fabulous replica she did of Wigglebutt Warrior founder, Dexter! Lucy Maloney’s Miniature Dogs Are Stunningly Lifelike
The winner is Frank Metzger, who plans to have a beautiful miniature replica of his belated dog made by Lucy. Stay tuned for a blog post about that! Her work is breathtaking.
Raffle tickets were sold, and the total collected at the event was $2,300 towards the rescue group. Despite my lack of culinary skills, yours truly won the cooking gift basket, so look out and warn the Fire Department *giggle*
Other prizes that were available for raffle included:
- Juli Cialone Photographer Professional Portrait Setting
- Petzi Treat Cams (2)
- Big Barker Dog Bed
- Sadie and Co signed book
- Trendy Pet Treat Jar
- A Year’s Supply of Dog Food from Merrick Pet Care
- Custom Dog Coat Made by De
- $125 custom pet portrait from Two Brunettes Shop
- Gift set from Dog is Good
- 4KNines car cover
- PetHub gift certificates
- 4 tickets to the New York Mets
- A golf package
- A tennis package
- Sunday Brunch Package
- Pasta Night package
- Yoag package
- Rock and Roll package
- Basket with wine and 6 hand painted wine glasses
- Bette Midler ensemble
- 3 dog baskets
- A vegan tote, with 2 gift certificates
Diamond Necklace from Zales
A $600 dollar diamond necklace courtesy My Pet Harmony was raffled off, which merited a donation of $750 for the rescue group. YAY! Winner selected from all raffle tickets sold at $5 a piece was Vicki Gagne, with reports coming in that she has not removed the necklace since winning it.
Next Day After Party
The after party took place at Warwick Winery in Warwick, New York, where about 40 dogs and their paw-rents dined and celebrated on the dog-welcoming and cat-welcoming patio. The after-after party took place at the Hampton Inn Middletown, where dog treats were given to all the doggies and a cat bag, too!
Special thanks to every sponsor, including the sponsors here. The Platinum and Diamond Level Sponsors Included:
Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Feldman
Next Wigglebutt Warriors Move
Stay tuned, as we will have more news and what our next step will be to help dogs in need!!!