The second annual fundraiser to benefit the Shamrock Animal Fund was scheduled to start at 6:30 at PJ's Pub and Grille in Armory Square. Twenty minutes before the doors were supposed to open people were already checking in. Ten minutes after the intended start the first of two rooms was filled with silent auction bidders. One half hour into the night we burst into the second overflow room and the night was off and running.
Some 300 people packed into the two exposed brick and beam banquet rooms of the old warehouse building that now houses this Armory Square night spot. Fund supporters browsed auction items, sipped on wine and beer and nibbled on veggies and cheese as the din of conversation energized the room. The drone of the bag pipes and beat of the drum of the Emerald City pipe band highlighted the early entertainment. Paul Davie's solo acoustic rock carried on the party into its third and fourth hours.
Lovely hostesses offering raffle tickets for sparkling jewelry from M. Lemp Jewelers and Cazenovia Jewelry worked the crowd. Shamrock Animal Fund co-founder Matt Mulcahy turned auctioneer to encourage the bidding on the Harvey Ellis rocker from Stickley and later the autographed team Syracuse Orange basketball.
Key event sponsors Ed and Teri Perry received a special acknowledgement for a generous personal gift to the Shamrock Animal Fund. Chris Geiger, President and General Manager of CNYCentral, also was singled out for the broadcaster's backing of the Shamrock Animal Fund from its inception.
Photos played on a giant video screen throughout the evening. They showed the dogs, cats and owners who benefitted from the fund this year. An emotional video "Thank you, Shamrock Animal Fund" also put tears and smiles on the faces of everyone in the room.
Matt and wife, and fellow co-founder, Jamie honored three wonderful veterinarians with flowers and a special custom made charm bearing the fund's logo. Drs. Katie McGonigle, Susan Losito and Eileen Fatcheric all delivered their heartfelt appreciation for the work of the Shamrock Animal Fund. The veterinary teams from both Cornell University's Veterinary Hospital and Fairmount Animal Hospital were also given mention as they foundation for the three veterinarians success.
By night's end as the smiling faces began to exit the conversation turned to the explosive growth in just the second year of the fund. A couple people suggested the Shamrock Animal Fund may need to rent out the Carrier Dome next year to accommodate all the guests. We will take that under consideration as we wrap up this year's details and evaluate the blossoming status of the fund.
We do not yet have final numbers, but we do know much more money was raised this year than last. The Shamrock Animal Fund thanks everyone involved in a successful evening. Shamrock's Celebration 2012 is just around the corner. Now back to the work of helping the animals.
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