Tinsley Mortimer and Angie DeMars pose with their rescue pups at the PAWS Chicago Fur Ball.

Tinsley Mortimer and Angie DeMars pose with their rescue pups at the PAWS Chicago Fur Ball.

On Saturday night, November 12, the Drake Hotel was packed with party-goers and their four-legged friends, to celebrate PAWS Chicago's 20th anniversary and its triumphant Fur Ball return. After a long pandemic hiatus, guests were thrilled to be back together again to raise funds for PAWS, the area's largest No-Kill animal shelter.

Co-chaired by Scott and Nancy Santi, the black-tie event was a sell-out with both the Gold Coast Room and the Grand Ballroom filled to the brim with guests and a lot of tail-wagging canines, many dressed to the nines. We saw pups in tuxes, tutus and sparkly coats on rhinestone-studded leashes and everyone seemed to be having a great time!

Upon arrival, supporters enjoyed cocktails in the French Room and the sounds of Guitarra Azul. Programs in both ballrooms were hosted by media personalities, Jake Hamilton and Sylvia Perez in the Gold Coast Room and Natalie Bomke in the Grand Ballroom.

The program consisted of the presentation of adoptable dogs, which garnered oohs and ahhs from the crowd. Tinsley Mortimer, of the Real Housewives of New York City, went home with an adorable 3-pound Chihuahua which completed her family of two other rescue poodles.

Paula Fasseas, PAWS founder, thanked the crowd and shared that. since the organization's inception, the killing of homeless pets in Chicago has decreased by 91%, but she noted "there was still much more work to be done."

Popular auctioneer David Goodman had the crowd digging deep into their pockets for live auction prizes that included a countryside villa in Barcelona for a week for 8 people (sold four times at $25K each); a truffle dinner for 9 prepared by Chef Fabio Viviani (sold for $17K); box seats at Elton John's Final Tour for 10 (sold for $21K)  and 8 days in St. Barth at a private villa for 6 PLUS a fly-in on a G-7 (sold for $40K).

Following a buffet dinner, the live auction and a fund-a-cause, guests returned to the French Room to enjoy live music from Maggie Speaks (the band was underwritten by longtime supporters Melissa and Michael Canning).

The event was sponsored by ITW and A. Marek Fine Jewelry. (PAWSChicago.org)

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