Moondog Ball raises money for pet rescues in valley

People dressed up in cat ears, suit coats, formal wear and even jeans turned out in support of Four Paws’ animal rescue’s 9th annual Moondog Ball, Saturday night. Dozens of business and private caterers provided food and services for the hundreds of people who showed up. Barney Northrop owns his own catering business and provided sushi for the guests as well as oversaw the volunteers helping to present and serve the food. “I was super stoked to attend and do what I could,” Northrop said. This was Northrop’s second time catering the event; the first year he served with Black Stone. He said he had a great time and after talking to event organizer Frank “Buddy” Smith, decided to come back and volunteer again. There were a variety of meats, cheeses, breads and desserts to choose from as people filed through the line to dance and dine the night away. While the crowd enjoyed the food, the jazz group Orjazm soothed the crowd. Throughout the night, there was entertainment including a modern dance performance by Laurel Anderton. Shimmering Sands Belly Dancers captivated the audience and brought them onto the stage to shake and shimmy. The Blue Blazers Band provided blues music for anyone who wanted to take the floor for an evening of dancing. Tables lined the hallways with dozens of items donated from local artists and other organizations for the silent auction. Guests had a chance to bid on beautiful pieces of jewelry, paintings, tickets and a mix of different items that were on the tables. Janna Hawkins said the silent auction was her favorite part of the evening. Hawkins is an avid supporter of Four Paws and even helping the rescue by taking care of 14 cats where most were abandoned. “Even if I don’t get anything,” Hawkins said about the auction, “I’m still helping by driving up the prices so more money can be brought in for Four Paws.” Julie Robertson attended wearing a black dress and cat ears. She said each Moondog Ball usually has a theme and since the theme this year was “eclectic formal,” she expected more people with the ears. “I’m comfortable with my cattiness,” she said. A member of the Blue Blazers Band, Bob Parson, said he has been playing for the Moondog Ball every year since it started. “It’s gotten pretty big from what it used to be,” Parson said, “and it does a lot of good for the animals.” Some of the supporters wait all year for the Moondog Ball. Ron Vance was a foster home for Four Paws in the past and has attended the event for the past four years. “It’s my favorite out of all the events that go on this time of year,” he said. Jocelyn Berlage said she donated at least $90 worth of jewelry to the auction and said is a strong animal rights advocate, trying to get people to makes donation and get involved with the Cache Valley Humane Society and Four Paws Rescue. People mingled all over the event, going from the food line to the open bar and the dance floor, occasionally stopping by the silent auction tables to check out pieces and to make sure they were the top bid on the sheets. “It’s fun to get out, do something and meet new people,” Arial Blair, first-time guest at the ball, said. She is part of a fair-trade organization called Global Village Gifts who donated a piece of Haitin art for the auction. “We love Four Paws,” Sally Russell said. Her connection with Four Paws rescue comes from the dog she adopted from them. Russell said Four Paws gave her the best dog she has had in her life. She said she has attended every Moondog Ball that she can. Buddy Smith said he came up with the idea for the Moondog Ball when Lisa Shaw, director of Four Paws Rescue, decided to make it a non-profit organization. Buddy said he figured everyone has a fundraiser and so he brought friend to help organize it. “It’s really a joint effort,” Buddy said. “Fortunately I know some people who are very good at what they do.” He said every cents that is made during the Moondog Ball goes to support Four Paws Rescue, not a single person or business gains anything from this. Even the $55 that people pay to get in goes to help the rescue.

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