A deep connection exists between humans and animals. It’s the understanding of New York-based animal shelter Bideawee — and the purpose behind the nonprofit’s annual gala event, the “Bideawee Ball.”
Bideawee, founded in 1903, aims to be New York’s leader in rescuing, caring for, and matching homeless cats and dogs with people who love them, according to the organization’s website. Bideawee operates adoption centers, pet cemeteries, volunteer programs, an animal hospital and a campus across its three locations in Wantagh, Westhampton and Manhattan.
After being forced to cancel last year’s gala due to the pandemic, Bideawee’s staff are excited to welcome back the tradition this fall.
The first event, scheduled for September 9 in New York City, will be a cocktail reception at City Vineyard located on Pier 26. There will also be a raffle with prizes, including a Hermes Dog Collar, acquired by the chair of Bideawee’s gala committee.
The second event, scheduled for September 18 in Water Mill, will be a dinner and live auction at Duck Walk Vineyard. Guests will bid on items during the auction, led by nonprofit auctioneer Gabriel Butu. The event also features a canine lounge, where pups can relax and play. Both events will be outdoors.
“We typically hold one, large event,” Anna Konik, Senior Manager of Events and Customer Relations said, “but this year, in order to accommodate Covid-19 restrictions, we decided to hold two smaller-scale, outdoor events to play it safe.”
Konik, who has worked with Bideawee for 13 years and has organized the annual gala for the last three years, said she anticipates roughly 100 attendees at the New York City event and about 150 attendees at the Water Mill gala.
Tickets for both events are available for the public and can be purchased on the organization’s website. An individual ticket for the New York City event is $500. The events are also pet-friendly, so well-behaved dogs are welcome. Adoptable pets will be at each event.
“While we want everyone to have fun and we’re excited to bring everyone together again,” Leslie Granger, CAWA, President and CEO of Bideawee, said, “our top priority of these events is to raise the money we need so that we can continue to save more dogs and cats.”
All profit from ticket sales, aside from the non-deductible portion used to fund the events, is donated to Bideawee’s mission, Konik said. The events will also be funded by two corporate sponsors, online pet pharmacy 1-800-PetMeds, and pet food company, Hills Science Diet.
Bideawee’s Vice President of Marketing and Development, Eric Muscatell, who started in June, said he’s excited to attend his first Bideawee Ball.
”It’s important that we continue finding new ways of fundraising for our animals because they truly need our help,” Muscatell said. “Our primary mission is to find them quality homes. Our second goal is to educate pet owners ... to help prevent them from surrendering their animals. And finally, we want to do anything we can to strengthen the human-animal bond.”
Granger said the organization wants to help animals and the people who love them in all ways possible. “We want to help pet-owners with problem-solving,” she said, “and provide services that help people and animals stay together. This event is extremely important to drive home that mission and raise the much-needed funds for that mission.”