On Saturday, October 14, more than 1,000 animal lovers gathered at the Tampa Convention Center for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay’s annual Tuxes & Tails fundraising gala.  The Rio de Carnaval themed event found homes for more than 31 pets and netted more than $400,000 for the shelter. More than 1,000 guests drank, dined, and danced into the night, making it one of Tampa Bay’s largest events of the year.

“We are so proud to throw one of the best parties in town,” said Humane Society of Tampa Bay Chief Executive Officer Sherry Silk. “Our staff, volunteers, sponsors, and committee members work exceptionally hard to make this event successful and it is all for one thing, the animals. The money raised will go to them. They’re the ones that matter.”

Guests enjoyed cocktails, silent auction, and more than 60 adoptable pets in a Brazilian atmosphere accompanied by the sultry sounds of samba. A high-energy conga line led guests from the pre-function festivities into the ballroom for dinner, live auction and a runway show featuring some of the adoptable pets. The Convention Center’s ballroom was transformed into a tropical paradise rich with vibrant color, palms, and fantastic carnaval characters from Dorene Collier’s Event Show Productions. An after-party at The Landing with dancing, complimentary cigars, Brazilian coffee, flambé station, and libations, closed the evening in style.

A successful event committee was led by Honorary Co-Chairs Beau Williams and Andrea Gonzmart Williams, 5th Generation Columbia Restaurant. FOX 13 News’ Cynthia Smoot and Russell Rhodes served as the evening’s Mistress and Master of Ceremonies. Ties & Tiara’s sponsor and HSTB Advisory Council member, Bobby Harris, gave the inspiring speech that motivated guests to raise their hands during the donation “ask”.

Best In Show Sponsors for the event were: The Brink Foundation, and An Anonymous Friend of the Animals. Tuxes & Tails 2018 will take place on October 13, 2018 from 5:30pm to 11:00pm at the Tampa Convention Center. More information: TuxesTailsTampa.com

You Matter To Me

Written and directed by the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. Produced by Nabors Media Group, Inc. Voiceover provided by Kinship Productions. Footage of South Korean Meat Farm 6 provided by Humane Society International.

You Matter to Me written and performed by Sara Bareilles with featured artist Jason Mraz.

Photos courtesy of the Tampa Convention Center