Cool cats and downtown dogs migrated to the Holliday Alumni Center at the Citadel Saturday night for A Furry Affair. The gala is the first of three major fundraisers the Charleston Animal Society hosts each year, and it attracted some 300 animal-loving guests for a cheerful evening of food, drink, and auctions.
A Furry Affair began six years ago as a celebration of the organization’s 125th anniversary and quickly turned into an art auction before evolving into its current format. “Today, there is more variety among auction items, although it is still primarily art,” says Marc Edwards, CAS’ Associate Executive Director. “The art community of Charleston is incredibly supportive.”
The sweet aroma of food enticed guests into the venue’s main hall, where a decadent meat and cheese spread was laid out. A roast beef carving station and a table of melt-in-your-mouth shrimp & grits rounded out the tasty treats donated by Tristan’s owner and CAS board member, Jonathan Zucker.
The Charleston Cooks! Maverick Kitchen store set up a pet treat-making station, where guests customized bones with tasty nibbles, like bacon bits and cheddar cheese, for their cats and dogs. An oblivious guest popped a bone into her mouth and devoured it with such delight that the gracious Maverick Cooks! rep did not point out her mistake.
Guests perused four rows of silent auction items, sniffing out fabulous treasures, though the real playtime was the live auction, which included items valued in the thousands, like a private gourmet cooking lesson for 10 at Charleston Cooks!. Other popular choices included the chance to throw the first pitch at a RiverDogs game and a 1,000-word feature article on your dog in Lowcountry Dog magazine, complete with photo shoot.
CAS’ off-site adoption coordinator set up shop in the lobby with a bevy of cats and a pair of puppies (whose paws never touched the ground) in need of a “forever” home. This was the first time in the event’s history that animals were present, and by the time the live auction started, the irresistible 12-week-old toy poodle had already been adopted. By all measures the event was a tail-wagging success.