Tri County’s Doggie Ball Marks Rescue Agency’s 20th Anniversary

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By: Dale King Special to the Delray and Boca newspapers
BOCA RATON, FL – Tri County Animal Rescue will mark its 20th anniversary this year at its annual “Doggie Ball” fundraiser scheduled April 10 at 5:30 p.m. at Boca West Country Club.
The event was originally planned for Jan. 31, but was rescheduled for later in the season due to popular demand.
“You spoke. We heard. We listened. We changed the date,” said Sharon DiPietro, TCAR board secretary and Doggie Ball chair. She noted that the Doggie Ball is normally held in March, but was initially set for January this year so it would not conflict with another rescue organization’s fundraiser.
When the date was announced, DiPietro said, Tri County received a number of calls from people who said they wanted to go, but could not attend on the earlier date.
Formerly known as the Tri County Humane Society, the agency was founded in 1997 by Suzi Goldsmith, now the executive director, and the late Jeannette Christos. It did not get a permanent home until 2001 when the Boca Raton City Council gave Tri County the go-ahead to take over operations of the city’s shelter located on Boca Rio Road.
A certified, no-kill shelter, Tri County receives no money other than donations and what is taken in at fundraisers. It is a 501 c (3) charitable group.
Tri County has spent years improving the facility. Two years ago, it changed its name to Tri County Animal Rescue and launched a capital campaign to raise money for a new shelter to be built on the site of the existing campus.
The organization continues to use the facility built by philanthropists and animal lovers Rolland and Lullis Ritter. In 1987, they donated the shelter, attached kennels, a pet cemetery and a nine-acre lot to the city.
Goldsmith said recently that groundbreaking for the new shelter has not yet taken place.
This year’s Doggie Ball continues with the country and western theme adopted many years ago. However, the buffet dinner will be replaced with a sit-down meal with three menu choices – filet mignon, sea bass or vegetable Napoleon.
The festivities this year will also honor Goldsmith who has been at the forefront of recent improvements to Tri County’s services and image. She has also led a number of animal rescues conducted by the agency in other parts of the country. Tri County recently sent staff and volunteers to Mississippi to bring back pets separated from their owners by storms.
Grand marshal of this year’s Doggie Ball – the 14th such fundraiser – is a shih tzu named Bandit. He was rescued by Tri-County board member Arthur E. Benjamin.
“We are honored to have our esteemed state attorney, Dave Aronberg, as our first-time ever master of ceremonies,” said Goldsmith. “Dave is an avid animal advocate, an incredible community leader and a staunch supporter of TCAR.”
The Doggie Ball will feature “our renowned silent auction, open bars and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres,” said the director. “We will have a special guest performance by talented vocalist Kendra Erika. The dinner will be followed by our incredible live auction led by a dear friend and wonderful animal advocate, Corey Saban.”
In addition, Gregory Fried of Gregory’s Fine Jewelry in Delray Beach is designing and donating a necklace as an auction item valued at $10,000.
The dinner and live auction will be followed by dancing to the music of the musical group, Heatwave.
Tickets can be purchased online at http:/DoggieBall2016.Eventbrite.com or by calling Erica at TCAR at 561-482-8110.