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The Washington Humane Society hosted its fifth annual Fashion for Paws fund-raiser for nearly 1,700 people on Saturday night. The event returned to the National Building Museum for a second year with a new layout, more sponsors, and a record fund-raising total.
Executive director Tara de Nicolas credits the addition of 10 new sponsors, including big names like Audi, as well as increased hype around the V.I.P. dinner table seating for helping to surpass 2011’s $529,000 total by more than $170,000. “Knowing some of [our guests] personally, a lot who have usually been general admission upgraded to tables this year, and their friends wanted to do that as well as a result,” de Nicolas said.
Table prices ranged from $3,000 to $10,000 depending on the number of seats and proximity to the runway. The organization also raised the individual goals for runway walkers from $3,000 to $5,000 for them to participate in the show, further boosting revenues.
“Because of how the sponsors—especially Syzygy Event Productions—have come in and raised the bar on the look of the event, they’ve allowed us to raise the fund-raising bar,” de Nicholas said.
Syzygy returned as top in-kind sponsor, designing the entire look and layout for the night. The team reworked the runway, which previously had spanned the central portion of the grand hall lengthwise and this year bisected the tables and chairs width-wise via a bridge over a large central fountain. Syzygy worked with Edge Floral Event Designs and Digital Lightning to bring color to the Miami-sunset-inspired look, with floral arrangements shaped like dogs on the dinner tables and pink, orange, and yellow lighting washing the space.
The runway show had 72 fund-raisers, and their dogs, modeling fashions donated by Betsey Johnson, Elie Tahari, and Vineyard Vines among others from Tysons Galleria shopping center. E! News correspondent Ashlan Gorse served as the night’s mistress of ceremonies.