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Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino
Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino

D.C.’s most fabulous philanthropists head to the Italian Embassy to rock the catwalk with their pets to benefit the Washington Humane Society

By Katherine Delmonico

Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino

Former White House Press Secretary Dana Perino. (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

As I sat in heavy traffic in northwest D.C. on Saturday night, I began to wonder if all of the heavy traffic on Massachusetts Avenue was for the event I was attending. Limos and sports cars surrounded me as I sat in stopped traffic in the back of the cab. The cool, breezy April night called for a “windows down” car ride, and I suddenly heard the couple in the car next to me talking.

“Do you think this traffic is ALL for Fashion for Paws?” the dubious gentleman asked his lady friend.

“I’m sure it is. No one misses this.” the adorably coiffed blonde answered.

She said it. And she was right.

Fletcher Gill with Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique ‘s Styling Pup. (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

Fletcher Gill with Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery and Boutique ‘s Styling Pup. (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

Walking up to the Italian Embassy, I felt like I was in a James Bond movie where they were corralling all of the beautiful, shiny people in one room so that some villain could steal all of the BMW’s parked outside. Of course this was only in my (melodramatic) imagination, however the event inside certainly rivaled the glamour of a movie. The Embassy provided an extraordinary backdrop for what turned out to be a simply fabulous event.

My favorite part about Fashion for Paws was its ability to seamlessly incorporate the cause that the event was benefiting in a clever, fun way that didn’t feel forced. I have been to charity events that really make no mention of their cause, and while this might be fine for some, it’s refreshing to see such a creative twist for an event that involves the cause. By incorporating animals in the event, we were able to see the immediate beneficiaries of the money  being raised, as well as see the softer side of some local D.C.’ans, as they proudly marched their furry friend down the runway. Also, though embarrassing to admit, I have always had a somewhat ignorant preconceived notion that most animals available for adoption would likely be undesirable animals; vicious or poorly behaved. What better way to prove me wrong than for the Washington Humane Society to bring several adoptable animals to the event and have volunteers walking them around. Wearing “Adopt Me” vests, the adorable and extremely well-behaved pooches ranged from Labradors to toy Poodles to the cutest mixed breeds you ever saw. I personally saw several attendees filling out applications to adopt, so hopefully those adorable and deserving animals are going to be well taken care of by new families very soon. Executive Director of Fashion for Paws, Tara deNicolas, as well as event chair, Amanda Polk

Joe Robert III and fiancé Tiffany Carter. (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

Joe Robert III and fiancé Tiffany Carter. (Photo by Kyle Samperton)

pulled off an extremely successful event, as Fashion for Paws 2010 raised nearly $350,000 for the Washington Humane Society.

The night didn’t end without a little drama though (as every good soiree must). Likely, attempting to relieve some of the traffic issues I dealt with upon arrival, the event had offered free valet parking. While a good idea in theory, the narrow street the Embassy was situated on provided little room for parking, and subsequent exiting, and there were a few too many valets on hand, leaving hoards of people outside the event waiting for over an hour for their cars. Apparently, one man, identified as Michael Thomas, age 34, was seen taunting security and requesting to be “Tased”. The Washington Examiner is reporting that Thomas shouted “I go to Georgetown, I work at Google and I’m going to get you all fired!” before being escorted away by security in handcuffs. He was reportedly charged for disorderly conduct. And so ends another night in Northwest D.C.; where the people are beautiful, the cars are expensive and the deepest insults involve uppity collegiate references.

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Steve Cheveney

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