Read on for a great recap of Friday's party to benefit H.O.P.E., from guest writer Arthur Gonick!

The H.O.P.E. Volunteer Gala Committee

The H.O.P.E. Volunteer Gala Committee

Animal Magnetism!

H.O.P.E. Gala – Friday, Nov. 11

By Arthur Gonick

SARATOGA SPRINGS – Writers write these great journalistic tomes; some apply for press awards and some win them. We actually like to think these things get read once in a while.  

But in the “selling papers” game, an editor learns there is nothing you can do to appeal to ‘the people’ than showing pics of animals. Slam dunk every time.

Babies also. So, a baby animal is your bulls-eye. Everything else is just filler by comparison.

And yes, we can wax poetic about the love, the connection between humans and their pets. But let’s just take that as a given. Speak up if you disagree.

Nobody? Good – moving on.

Because the fact is, in our ‘puppy love’ world, there are elements in the canine, feline, or other-ine society that, like their human counterparts, have been left behind.  

No love for these forgotten creatures that give us such pleasure, such contentment? Not if hope exists…

Or rather – H.O.P.E. Standing for Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist, H.O.P.E. lives up to it’s moniker, as it as for 14 years, and a committed cavalcade of perhaps 150 gathered at Prime last Friday to celebrate this organization’s commitment to helping people and pets find each other.

Throughout the evening, H.O.P.E. ‘adopters’ spoke impassionedly about their experiences, smoothly emceed by NewsChannel13’s Benita Zahn, whose off-camera persona makes her a fave for life. Meanwhile, interspersions of gypsy swing from Hot Club of Saratoga appeared to intoxicate many 2-legged creatures into strutting their stuff, while the silent auction, wine raffles and jewelry sales proceeded apace.

“The Celebration of HOPE Gala” was a great success thanks to all of the hard working HOPE volunteers, as well as Tom Newkirk and the staff at Saratoga National, our fantastic MC Benita Zhan, and all of our wonderful sponsors,” noted event organizer Wendy Mongillo. “It was fantastic and I would like to salute the volunteers who helped make it happen.”  

Indeed, in addition to Wendy, those people are: Len Armer, Meg Brown, Jill Perkins, Joan Rennie, Kristina Kline, Jennifer Monaco, Cheri Monaco, Liz Holub, Jennifer McDonald, Janine Lloyd, Andrea Pollack, Kathy McPherson, Debra Sneed, Cathy Ondreyko and Donna Neilley.

A personal observation: I am friends with some of these people on the Gala Committee; and was happy to make new ones last Friday. These are hardly event-planning pros, and therefore… well, let’s just say they sweated the small stuff, and the big stuff, and the other stuff too. At one point, I had to tell one sweet friend (never reveal a source LOL) to “…calm down! You got this….”

 Well, from a results standpoint, I am pleased to say that I was right: They did have this! As professional an event as I have ever attended.

It’s because, no matter what the glitch or last-minute detail was, they had H.O.P.E. And now, as a result, H.O.P.E. has me.



Posted on November 14, 2016 and filed under PARTY RECAPS.