Doggies will shine at event

This Saturday sees the return of one of the most anticipated fundraisers of the year – the Cayman Islands Humane Society’s Doggies and Diamonds fashion show.

This year the event will be held at the Arts and Recreation Centre at Camana Bay and will feature the usual delights, from pups parading down the catwalk to discounted fashions from the Claws and Paws thrift shop to live entertainment by Kate Allenger on the violin.

Emceed by John Foster, the night will include a buffet meal catered by Mise en Place, raffle prizes (including a Persian carpet from Rugs Oriental, a weekend for two at Morritts Tortuga Resort, a Cartier handbag and the grand prize of a necklace from the event’s sponsor Diamonds International) and a gate prize of a one week stay for two people at the all-inclusive Breezes resort in Negril, Jamaica, plus two round-trip tickets to Jamaica on Cayman Airways.

‘Recently, we have received many private donations of beautiful designer outfits as well as handbags. This year our silent auction will have more than 30 designer handbags,’ said Pamela Hart, vice-president of the Humane Society and chairperson of the event.

And the clothes won’t just be for admiring, either. ‘We will have a Claws and Paws shop set up at the event at which many beautiful clothes and accessories will be for sale.’ Designers for fashionistas to scour the racks for include Roberto Cavalli, Dolce and Gabbana, St. John, Emilio Pucci, Giorgio Armani, BCBG and clothes from stores such as Ann Taylor and Caché.

‘Well-known personalities will be wearing a variety of beautiful clothing donated by our clothing sponsor Off the Peg as well as members of the public who support the Claws and Paws thrift shop with their generosity,’ said Mrs. Hart.

The Paws and Claws thrift shop and Book Loft bookstore are the Humane Society’s main sources of income along with fundraising and ‘public goodwill’, said Mrs. Hart, who is also in charge of fundraising for the Society.

‘From these sources we have also managed to do much-needed renovations to the shelter,’ she said, adding that the dogs’ cages have all been outfitted in stainless steel recently and an acoustical wall has been installed at the shelter to assist with keeping noise levels to a minimum.

‘It costs us an average of $30,000 per month to keep our doors open,’ said Mrs. Hart. ‘Our annual veterinary bills average $120,000.’

Formerly held at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, this year is the first the event will be held at Camana Bay’s new Arts and Recreation Centre.

‘This is a new and exciting venue with lots of space for a larger runway for the models and dogs to move about,’ said Mrs. Hart. ‘Plus we have the added advantage of having a lovely grassed area outside where the dogs can relax and chill out.’

The anticipated segment of the evening occurs when the dogs take to the stage to strut their stuff. ‘The popular canine fashion show will have 10 participants this year,’ said Mrs. Hart, ‘all graduates of our beach training programme and all hoping to have someone fall in love with them and take them home.’

Describing ticket sales as ‘brisk’, Mrs. Hart added that this year’s fashion show is looking to be ‘the biggest and best that we’ve had.

‘We are close to being sold out and anticipate a fun-filled evening for everyone.’