Dogs welcome at this year's Fur Ball 

The annual event benefits Pet Helpers

What's the key to raising a ton of money at your annual gala fundraiser? Letting attendees bring their dogs.

Yep. That's what Laura Lipsey, manager of public relations and outreach for Pet Helpers, figured out when she was planning this year's Fur Ball. "We wanted to take the Fur Ball to that next level," she says. "We struggled with the idea of lowering ticket price, having tiered levels of pricing, changing marketing, etc. We really want to appeal to a broader audience, make it 'hip' and 'cool' to support Pet Helpers, and animal adoption in general."

After doing some research, she discovered that similar organizations in Richmond, Va. and Chicago raise tons of money — as in over $500,000 — by letting guests bring along man's best friend. Dogs will be allowed to stay with their owners for most of the night (which features dinner, dancing, live entertainment, and a silent auction) except during dinner, when they'll be looked over by professional dog walkers at the Disco Dog Park.

The pets will hang out listening to music, watching a '70s movie, and eating treats from WildFlour Pastry while you enjoy your meal inside. Costumes are encouraged for owners and pets.

"Apparently, dogs in Chicago wear diamonds and pearls," Lipsey says. "There will be a red carpet and a puparazzi, so come decked out and ready to boogie. I'm looking forward to dancing at the end of the night when dogs may rejoin their owners. It should be a sight."


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