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Barking Good Fun At The Washington Humane Society’s 24th Annual Bark Ball!

By Jessica James Golden on June 8, 2011
Two legs good; four legs cuter!
Two legs good; four legs cuter!
Be sure to check out all 121 of our photographs from this event HERE!
The Guest List:
Andrew Weinstein, David Rios: 1 | 2, Jennifer Harlow, Lisa LaFontaine: 1 | 2 | 3, Natasha Barrett, Steven Stone: 1 | 2, Tara de Nicolas
DUPONT CIRCLE — Hundreds of Washington’s most prominent and vocal animal lovers streamed into the Washington Hilton Saturday night, for the Washington Humane Society’s 24th Annual Bark Ball. A bevy of four-legged canines, large and small, furry and shaven, united with dogged determination at one Washington’s only events that allows guests to bring along their canine companions.

The Bark Ball is one of the largest fundraisers benefitting the WHS each year; all proceeds from the event go to support WHS programs and services that benefit thousands of homeless, lost and abused animals in our nation’s capital.

The night kicked-off with a VIP reception featuring a “Doggie Bar” that offered all-natural doggie treats of all shapes and sizes by Barkley Square, while the humans in attendance munched on small hors d’oeuvres and sipped on beverages from the room’s many open bars.

The Doggie Bar!

Loyal WHS volunteers in green t-shirts put themselves to work, passing out doggie treats and devotedly cleaning up any of the small “accidents” that would occasionally appear.

Before long, dinner chimes called the dog lovers into the hotel’s grand ballroom for the main event. Once the majority of guests had found their seats at the tables topped with dog-inspired centerpieces, Mistress of Ceremonies Allison Seymour of WTTG FOX 5 took to the stage with her daughter Sydney to give the opening address.

Soon after, WHS President and CEO Lisa LaFontaine topped off the keynote with her own personal story of her family’s passion for animals. LaFontaine’s family has adopted and fostered countless dogs and cats over the years, she explained—ending her presentation with an invitation to her husband, with so many homeless dogs in attendance, to take on just one more…

Washington Humane Society President and CEO Lisa LaFontaine & Ambassador Kenton Keith.

Without further ado, guests were left to devour a delicious three-course meal. Unlike your traditional Washington sit-down dinner, the Bark Ball expertly catered to the fact that dog guests wouldn’t find sitting for a three-course meal as natural as their two-legged companions. The Washington Hilton Ballroom therefore allowed dog-lovers space to get up and stroll about the room with their playful friends.

By the time the coffee course had arrived, the event’s furry guests were ready for action and begged for their leash-holders to allow them to tour about the room. In some cases, the four-legged celebrities donned outfits that rivaled those of their owners, only adding to the fun, playful glamour of the evening.

To segway into the next portion of the evening, Allison and Sydney Seymour returned to introduce Connie Harriman-Whitfield. While her husband and fellow honorary co-chair Congressman Ed Whitfield (R-Kentucky) was not in attendance, Mrs. Harriman-Whitfield also spoke of her family’s devotion to animals before introducing WHS Chairman Steve Bralove.

WHS Board Member Steven Stone and Fashion for Paws Executive Director Tara de Nicolas.

Soon after, a “Celebrity Parade” consisting of Allison Seymour, Natasha Barrett (WJLA), Howard Bernstein (WUSA), Brittany Morehouse (WUSA) and Scott Thuman (WJLA) presented a handful of adorable dogs available for adoption to the audience, before an auctioneer opened the evening up to an impressive line-up at the live auction.

As the minutes ticked by, guests couldn’t help but smile as their four-legged buddies leapt and barked until the late hours of the night. Proving that the quote, “If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog,” by the wise and yet notoriously disgruntled Winston Churchill may still hold some truth, there was indeed no dearth of friendliness this evening!

Be sure to check out all 121 of our photographs from this event HERE!
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