SPREE INSIDER
A howling good time, Easter fun at the Gardens, a Tony Walker party, and more
By Stephanie Berberick

Buffalo’s growing national reputation as a cultural center will literally be going to the dogs—and cats—at the first annual “PETropolitan Auction of Art” from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, April 29, at the Butler Mansion (672 Delaware Avenue), sponsored in part by Buffalo Spree. This cleverly named live and silent auction of animal-inspired artwork is a fundraiser for a coalition of six local groups whose shared mission includes increasing the number of pet adoptions and decreasing instances of animal euthanasia in WNY.


“The PETropolitan is designed to unite the animal-lover with the art-lover in many Western New Yorkers,” says Kara Lee, project coordinator for Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project in Erie County. (The Maddie in question was a miniature schnauzer whose human companions—including former PeopleSoft CEO Dave Duffield—began a foundation in her honor in 1997 to advocate on behalf of abandoned shelter animals, inspiring organizations around the country, including WNY.) The SPCA, City of Buffalo Animal Shelter, Buffalo Humane, HEART Animal Rescue & Adoption Team, Second Chance Sheltering Network, and Ten Lives Club make up the umbrella group. Lee explains the reason for joining forces: “Whereas in the past the course of action may have been euthanasia, we can now pool our resources to guarantee loving homes for dogs and cats with a range of treatable conditions.”

Locally, the project partners have set a goal to find living quarters for 8,502 shelter dwellers this year. If they are successful, the project will see an award from the national Maddie’s Fund of nearly $5 million over the next five years.

The project hopes to raise $15,000 from the PETropolitan fundraiser and save 2,500 strays from euthanasia. Photographs, paintings, ceramics, and even hand-painted furniture are among the likely items up for bid. Local rocker and all-around community supporter Robby Takac of the Goo Goo Dolls has created one piece for the auction.

Tickets purchased at the door cost $45. (Save $5 by reserving them online ahead of time at www.maddieseriecounty.org.) For more information about the auction, or about volunteering for any of the partner organizations in Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project, contact Kara Lee at 343-0253 or karal@spcaec.com.

Spree is also sponsoring several other events during April, including the next two Nickel City Chef challenges on April 11 and 25. See page 110 for details.

Two more events take place at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens: the “Dress Your Easter Best Weekend and Contest” from April 2 through 4 and the annual “Easter Egg Hunt” on April 3. During the contest, judged categories include most creative, best dressed overall, and most inspired by spring at the Gardens (for children and adults). The Easter Bunny’s Helper will choose the winners, who will each receive a prize. And the egg hunt is an annual favorite for kids six and younger; preregistration is required. For info, call 827-1584 or visit www.buffalogardens.com.

Last but certainly not least is the Tony Walker & Co. “Shopping Spree & Cocktail Party,” from 6 to 9 p.m. on April 29. It’s a night of food, shopping, giveaways, fashion shows, and more. But act fast—RSVPs must be received by April 22; do so at tonywalker.com/spree or call Jackie at 445-4477. The fun will all take place at the Walker Center, 5110 Main Street in Williamsville.

Attendees will be the first to receive copies of the new Buffalo Spree Beauty Book.

Spree editorial intern Stephanie Berberick is a senior at Buffalo State College.


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