‘Cause for Paws:’ big fun for people and animals

Sandra Harbison went home with one of the enchanting centerpieces — a dog made out of flowers!

Young-Williams Animal Center wowed again this year with its 9th annual Cause for Paws fundraiser, held at the beautiful Knoxville Museum of Art. What makes this dinner and auction stand out from the rest is the presence of the adoptable animals, of course! I can’t tell you how many folks skipped the drinks and mingling in the garden upon their arrival and headed straight for the room where the animals were being lovingly handled by volunteers.

My friend Maria Cornelius was one of those. “Kittens!” she exclaimed when she entered the room. And, sure enough, she went home with one of them – an adorable tortoise-shell calico named Moon.

The event was a sellout. This is important because Young-Williams is the official shelter of the City of Knoxville and Knox County and it takes in more than 11,000 lost, unwanted, abandoned and neglected animals each year. Although it is funded by the city and county to take care of the animals they deliver to the shelter, more than 60 percent of the shelter’s animals do not come from the city and county. Generous community support helps cover those expenses.

Young-Williams’ mission is to end pet homelessness, promote animal welfare and enhance the human-animal bond. Those who attended this sweet and fun evening can be proud that they were a part of that.

Janet Testerman is CEO of Young-Williams Animal Center. She’s here with Tim Williams, left, and King Purnell, the immediate past board chair of Young-Williams.

Alan Carmichael. left, with Megan and Ben Landers during the cocktail hour.

Debbie and Mike Emery.

Scott and Lynne Fugate.

Very appropriate cocktail napkins!

Bar snacks. Ha.

Sharon Lord, left, and Judy Henry.

David Butler and Gay Lyons.

Meanwhile, in the animal room:

Volunteer Paula Liss with a precious friend who would be adopted later in the evening.

Maria Cornelius and her new family member, Moon.

The room was beautiful.

Tall centerpieces were filled with tennis balls and bone-shaped dog biscuits!

Other centerpieces were flowers in the forms of animals — like this cute cat!

Erin Donovan, left, and Judith Foltz.

Rick Stone and Angela Howard.

From left, Alan Carmichael, Young-Williams Board Chair Patrick Birmingham and Dino Cartwright, one of the evening’s emcees. (And that sexy Richard Jolley piece behind them!)

Shaun Fulco and Maria Cornelius.

When we sat down, we were served these clever salads followed by a delicious family-style dinner of passed dishes.

From left, Meg Lonon, Janet Testerman Crossley, Janet Testerman, Mitchell Moseley and Joey Creswell.

Whitfield and Brittany Bailey.

Amy Williams and her mom.

Terry and Regina Turner.

Ginny McAfee provided tunes during cocktails and dinner.

Emcees were Allyson Spellman Becker from Jewelry Television and Dino Cartwright.

Janet Testerman making remarks.

Board Chair Patrick Birmingham.

Sold-out crowd.

Young-Williams employees were recognized from the podium.

What it’s all about.




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4 Responses to ‘Cause for Paws:’ big fun for people and animals

  1. Michael, on November 30th, 2023 at 2:27 pm said:

    Others and I think that you need to add to the name of the newsletter:

    The Blue Streak
    A lens into life by Cynthia Moxley
    featuring Alan Carmichael

    Only two photos in this article, but then it was a small gathering.

  2. Cynthia Moxley, on November 30th, 2023 at 9:35 pm said:

    Mike: Haha! Alan always tells me he is “overexposed!”

  3. Gay Lyons, on December 1st, 2023 at 2:28 pm said:

    Such a fun evening! This event always features so many beautiful & clever touches that make it stand out.

  4. Cynthia Moxley, on December 1st, 2023 at 3:17 pm said:

    Gay: I agree! They do a wonderful job with it. So many things to make folks smile!

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