Sponsor Me!

In a world where pretty young things too often become blond charity parodies, Fashion for Paws is giving a racy web tactic an uptown makeover

By Christina W. Wilkie

Fashion for Paws is at the forefront of online fundraising

The annual Fashion for Paws runway show is Saturday, March 28 at the Embassy of Italy.

Ever heard of a website called myfreeimplants.com? It’s the one where women raise money online for breast implants from anonymous men, who “contribute” to their personal “surgery funds” in exchange for the privilege of interacting with them – also online (or supposedly). Pretty sleazy, but clever, too.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to view a lineup of lovely ladies, and then decide whom to assist in “enhancing” themselves? A voyeuristic power-trip dressed up like an act of altruism. Brilliant.  But tacky.

So, imagine my surprise when a friend recently directed me to her “personal fundraising page” on the website of the ‘Fashion for Paws’ runway show, scheduled for March to benefit the Washington Humane Society. Right below her come-hither photo in an evening gown, there was a tab that said, “Sponsor Me.” Huh? Right above the photo is a box with a thermometer showing just how close she is getting to achieving her “goal.” And a list of the people who’d sponsored her so far. Confused, I backed out of her personal page, and to my total amazement there was a list of 40 of Georgetown’s most beautiful and philanthropic young people, each of whom had a link to a page with their picture and plea for sponsorship. Wait. Where have I seen this before?

Now, don’t get me wrong. Fashion for Paws is a top-drawer party, mostly owing to the tireless efforts of Tara deNicolas, the Humane Society’s darling director of communications. Certainly there’s no quid pro quo for the fundraising models and their donors, and the Washington Humane Society is a charity we can all get behind. Which is why I get such a kick out of this website; managing, as it does, to stay just this side of good taste. In a world where pretty young society gals too often let themselves be turned into blond charity parodies, Fashion for Paws has taken a racy concept and given it a convincingly uptown makeover, raising more than $50,000 for the Washington Humane Society in the process.  You work it, girls.

Like the concept? Choose your favorite model to sponsor at www.fashionforpaws.org

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