Pawpurrazzi 2012: A Dog-Gone Success!

Top Row: Sandy Batchelor, Jon and Nancy Batchelor,
Bottom Row: Pat and Milton Wallace

Just when you thought that Pawpurrazzi, which is in its fourth year as a major gala, can’t get any better, it does! The 2012 event, that benefits the Humane Society of Greater Miami, came in like a lion and roared all night. The excitement and fun never stopped. Guests marveled at how such a logistically complicated event like this could be pulled off without a hitch. Sandy Batchelor hit the nail on the head when describing the ambiance as having dinner with your dog and friends in the middle of the Tuilleries Gardens in Paris.

Pawpurrazzi is such a “paw-some” event because of many talented people. Mainly, the skills and dedication of Pat and Milton Wallace, who have chaired the event for the past four years, with the help of Co-Chairmen Bunny Bastian, Marisa Cisneros-Rizzon, and Ann Rubino. Together they created a one-of-a-kind experience seen nowhere else in the country.

The event brought more than 500 VIPs with their furry companions together at Jungle Island. (It seemed that every luminary in town was there). Pawpurrazzi is the only event in the country where the dogs are the stars and the people are the accessories! The event raised over $500,000 and 6 shelter dogs were adopted that evening and will now live in forever, loving homes.

Christopher Bastian, Kateri with Skipper, Bunny Bastian, Holt Boink, Marika Boink with King, Sean Bastian

Pat thanked everyone for coming and supporting Pawpurrazzi and gave special thanks to new Golden Hall of Fame inductees Sandy, Jon and Nancy Batchelor representing The Batchelor Foundation, the “Top Dogs and Best in Show” for three consecutive years. She recognized South Motors and Charles and Fanny Dascal for being the Presenting Sponsor for the third year; Nora Bulnes as the Honorary Chairman; and Marisa Cisneros-Rizzon, Ann Rubino and Juan Lopez, Vice President and General Manager at Saks Fifth Avenue, Dadeland, for putting together the fabulous silent auction. It offered more than 100 wonderful items including haute couture designer clothing, incredible jewelry, exciting trips, and beautiful accessories for the home. Everything in the auction was top of the line.

Pat also acknowledged the generosity of the many other celebrity walkers including Penny and Roe Stamps; Dr. Fredric S. Brandt; Marisa Cisneros-Rizzon and Marcos Rizzon; Emily Damiano; Yvonne and Chas Eldredge; Rob and Christina Hudson; Irene Korge; Linda and Patrick McEnany; Ann and Frank Rubino; and Maggie and Jorge Villacampa, just to name a few. Pat also gave accolades to Dr. Bern Levine of Jungle Island for hosting the event, Karla Conceptional Event Experiences for turning the ball room into a fantasy land, and the staff of the Humane Society of Greater Miami for their invaluable help.

Nora Bulnes

The evening started with a cocktail reception filled with activities for both two-legged and four-legged guests. Dogs were treated to make-overs, a Purina treat bar, and caricature artists. Their owners munched on an array of comfort type hors d’ouevres—sliders, hot fried shrimp, French fries, a Middle-Eastern station, sushi bar, smoked apple wood bacon, salmon lollipops, vegetable rolls, mini cups of soup with grilled cheese sandwiches and lots more. The food was non-stop. Everywhere you looked there was a server offering you a yummy treat. The staff was extremely professional and incredibly friendly. Cocktails were provided by Bacardi and the wine was donated by Pacific Southern and Republic National Distribution Company.

After cocktails on the veranda, the guests moved into Jungle Island’s Treetop Ballroom. Guests were then treated to the highlight of Pawpurrazzi 2012, the “Great Pets Who Walk In Front of Great People” show where more than 25 exclusive guests and their furry friend(s) were featured on the runway, many walking shelter dogs. CBS4 anchor, Cynthia Demos, emceed this part of the evening for the third year. It was fun people and dog watching. Some of the “Diplomats and Doggie Darlings” were Norma Jean Abraham, Alicia Celorio with Do Unto Others, Joyce and Skip Dickerson, Swanee and Paul DiMare, Jeanette Fine, Flossie and Roland Gomez, Barbara Guilford, Lola Jacobson, D.J. Kerr, Helene Kovens, Jackie and Jorge Munilla, Ed Joyce with Northern Trust, N.A., Steve Feinberg with Pet Supermarket, Debbie Lashinsky with Ryder Charitable Foundation, Sandy Zankl, and Joe Zubizarreta.

Marisa Cisneros-Rizzon and Marcos Rizzon

Guests enjoyed a delicious filet mignon dinner followed by a fantasy come true dessert buffet of make your own sundaes, s’mores custom made by chefs, scrumptious brownies, banana bread pudding with warm bourbon sauce, a delicious assortment of cookies and mini cupcakes, Bananas Foster, a fresh fruit display and more. Guests couldn’t wait to finish dinner so they could get their hands on the items on the dessert buffet. All worth every calorie!

Guests arrived at 6pm and many did not leave until well after midnight. The sure sign of a successful event.

For further information on Pawpurrazzi 2013, slated for Friday, January 25 at Jungle Island, or the Humane Society of Greater Miami call Laurie Hoffman at 305-749-1815 or email her at laurie@humanesocietymiami.org.