Brittany Bailey, one of the main sponsors of Cause for Paws, gets up close and personal with a puppy.
Despite a last-minute weather cancellation and a change of venue, spirits remained high — and so did the bids in the charity auction — during the annual “Cause for Paws,” a critical fundraiser for Young-Williams Animal Center.
The threat of thunderstorms and high winds derailed plans a few weeks ago to hold the popular event — now in its seventh year — under a tent at Historic Westwood. Instead, it was held last week indoors at the Knoxville Museum of Art.
The live auction featured everything from dinners and stays in downtown Knoxville to adoption of a number of sweet animals, including puppies, kittens and rabbits.
King Purnell, chairman of the board of Young-Williams Animal Center, said the official shelter of the City of Knoxville and Knox County is experiencing record numbers of intakes and record numbers of adoptions while still maintaining its “no-kill” status, meaning that more than 90 percent of the animals that come there are saved. In fact, the current “save rate” is 94.8 percent.
“Our challenge is space,” Purnell said from the stage. “We have exhausted the space we have.”
Several adoptable animals mingled with the guests.
Laura Wallace of Covenant Health gets friendly with a cute kitten.
The room was beautiful and included rustic wooden tables and chairs.
And these awesome centerpieces.
Maria McHale and Christopher Ford during cocktail hour. He is one of the owners of Sweet P’s BBQ and she handles his account for Moxley Carmichael.
It was a festive crowd!
King Purnell, left, and Young-Williams Animal Center CEO Janet Testerman.
From left, Melinda, Kevin and Greg Grimac with Joanne Stickley.
Tina Rolen and Young-Williams Animal Center Board Member Bill Pittman.
Randy Burleson, left, with Mayor Indya Kincannon and her husband, Ben Barton.
Patrick Birmingham, left, vice chair of the Young-Williams Animal Center board, with Mark and Kristin Williams.
Kevin and Kristina Lusby. He’s a member of the Young-Williams Animal Center board.
Janet Testerman, center, City Council member and CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center, with Maria McHale, left, and Maria Cornelius, both of Moxley Carmichael.
Madge Cleveland and Craig Shelton.
Lila Honaker, left, and Becky Hancock.
Julia and Marty Gibbs consider expanding their family. (They ultimately decided against it, but it was close!)
From left, Andrea Bailey, Karen Claussen and Jennifer Holder.
John Trotter and Mollie Turner.
From left, Joey Creswell, Jimmy and Muffet Testerman-Buckner and Janet Testerman Crossley, the mother of the other Janet Testerman.
Jason and Leslie Carson.
Kenley and Steve Early.
From left, Hancen Sale, Mitchell Moseley and Cliff and Jacque Hawks.
From left, Fanita and Todd Overstreet and Christopher and Kari Ford.
Eric and Kat Savelli-Botts.
Brittany and Whitfield Bailey.
Caterer extraordinaire Holly Hambright, left, with Megan and Ben Landers.
Speaking of catering, here’s some of the delicious nibbles: “pupperoni” hand pies, candied bacon and a terrific salad. The short ribs and mushroom ravioli weren’t bad, either!
But my favorite thing was this creative dessert: pumpkin chocolate chip bread pudding with a shortbread cookie in the shape of a dog bone!
Gay Lyons certainly was impressed by it!
Soon, Janet announced it was time to get the auction started!
Spotter Erin Donovan, left, and Maria Cornelius getting ready for the auction.
The enthusiastic auctioneer: Dino Cartwright.
That’s when Maria Cornelius bid $500 and won two black kittens!
Dr. Anthony Wilson, left and Tyler Janow went home with one of those adorable centerpieces!
Music was by Dueling Pianos International. Here are my favorite dancers:
They even continued playing during cleanup! Of course, the Moxley Carmichael table was among the last to leave!
P.S. This is what $500 kittens look like. It was for the ‘purr-fect’ cause! The pair of boys had their neuter surgery at Young-Williams Animal Center and then went home with Maria on Saturday.
Mox Jordan Cornelius
Harper Jordan Cornelius