Citizens for Animal Protection kicked it up several notches Saturday night with its safari-themed gala that transformed the Royal Sonesta Hotel ballroom into a dreamy Lion King setting. While boosting the party quotient, the event saw proceeds soar to a whopping $700,000.
Setting the stage for a night of energized partying was the "Circle of Life" presentation of air-brushed human animals that brought out a wave of smart phones as many among the 600 guests captured the colorful parade of lions, cheetahs and zebras. J&D Entertainment provided the show-stopping characters that included 12-foot tall "giraffes," African dancers and drummers.
Applause, applause for chairs Penny and Paul Loyd and co-chairs Laura McIngvale Brown and Phillip Brown.
CAP's resident iguana, Sherman, and Zsa Zsa's Party Parrots further contributed to the colorful scene as did the tented safari themed settings in the foyer where the honorees and their pets were presented. A Memorable Event dressed the ballroom in a glowing Seregenti theme.
Taking top honors as Celebrity Pet of the Year was Suri, the pooch belonging to Marian and Austin Cornelius. Runners-up were the three massive dogs paraded down the catwalk by Clayton and Shel Erikson.
Joining the pet parade of honorees were Moriah and Rod Crosby, Lisa Gochman and Roi Alan, Jon Halbur and Dan O’Brien, Melissa and Tim Kelly, Dale and Dr. Ronald Lindsey, Jewell and Joe Maida, Gregory Miller and Shelly Dimiero, Cissy Abel Smither and Brad Bates along with junior honoree Harrison Burks.
It was a night filled with honorees including Linda Schmuck, Kristie and Randy Wade, Frank DiMaria and Gloria and Frank Meszaros of West Houston Subaru which provided a car for the raffle. CAP executive director Kappy Munzer, who after 40 years with the non-profit is transitioning to executive director emeritus, received a standing ovation.