2nd Annual Cocktails & Furrytails
Text, Photo, & Video by Tim Borland
On October 6 the 2nd Annual Cocktails & Furrytails event was held in downtown Mobile at the newly renovated venue The Steeple. Numerous animal lovers of all ages gathered from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. for a reception, entertainment, and an opportunity to donate to important animal welfare programs within the Port City .
Proceeds from the event benefit Save a Stray, an organization founded in 2012. Since that time S.a.S. has saved over 3,000 pets via adoption and transport. Cocktails and Furry Tails helps pay for vet care and food for pets in the organization’s care as well as two children’s programs which are currently in the works.
“The 2nd Annual CFT was a huge success! Our generous sponsors, donated silent auction items, and the grand attendance topped the success of last year. We are already looking forward to next year. The goal for this year was for the event to cover 25 percent of our operating cost. Happy to report that goal was achieved. We would like for the event to eventually cover 50% of cost and have only two fundraisers a year,” Save a Stray President Stephanie Eads-Williamson announced.
Stephanie Eads-Williamson and her spouse Garrett showing off their pets
S.a.S. impacts the city’s pet over-population, which is a common issue in many urban areas. The program ensures all pets are fully vetted, including spay or neuter, prior to adoption. This humane approach provides a valuable service to the local community. Despite the additional effort of supporting a domesticated companion, many people find pet ownership to be rewarding
“It’s an expense, a responsibility, and there are messes to clean up. But, I [own pets] and millions, perhaps billions, of others do it, too. It must be good for the soul,” Save a Stray Director Valerie Blankenship
Animal lovers were able to purchase tickets to the event in advance via the S.a.S. website. The centerpiece of the event was a sumptuous buffet prepared by Bay Gourmet, enticing guests with dishes such as Creamy Creole Chicken and Marinated Shrimp. The area business located at 1880 Airport Blvd has been catering cocktail parties, weddings, and other functions since 2001.
“Bay Gourmet is well known for their delicious and unique food. When you see them as the caterer you know the food will not disappoint,” Stephanie insisted.
During the auction, guests could vote for whether Mobile, Ala. should be considered a “Dog Town” or a “Kitty City.” The former won out due to numerous fervent dog lovers present at the event. The canine companions were honored guests within the venue, accompanying their human escorts to many tables. Animal themed artwork, provided by Mobile artists, was displayed throughout the venue as part of the decoration.
Tables wrapped around the former place of worship featuring an array of merchandise available as part of a silent auction. Screens on either side of the altar area displayed projections. Festive decorations adorned tables and the buffet. There was even a photo booth for people to enjoy.
Various silent auction items on display
Local musician Marcus Elizondo performed vocals and acoustic guitar on the Steeple front stage, making use of the newly installed sound system. Performing a number of cover songs from familiar musicians such as Cat Stevens and James Taylor, patrons were able to enjoy their meals with pleasant background music.
“Marcus Elizondo is an animal lover and fantastic musician with a great voice. His sound was perfect for our event and crowd,” Stephanie said.
Marcus Elizondo performing “Wild World” at Cocktails and Furrytails
For many people, the charity event provided an opportunity to explore the recently opened The Steeple, located at 251 St. Francis St. With a newly installed soundboard in the former choral balcony of the church, as well as the gorgeous interior and spacious open layout, the location offered all the amenities needed for the fundraiser.
“The Steeple was chosen as the venue and Bay Gourmet for catering in hopes of increasing attendance. The Steeple renovation is new and our event gave people a chance to see its transformation. It is also a large room which makes it easier to address the crowd,” Stephanie explained.
Save a Stray is in need of volunteers to foster dogs and cats for two weeks at a time, bathe animals, and help with group classes involving at risk youth. Anyone interested in getting involved may complete an app to volunteer at:
“Mobile has a huge pet over population problem. Our shelters are continuously filled to capacity and over-crowded. These pets need loving forever homes. Adoption helps ease a bit of the burden of our shelters and allows room for other unwanted pets. Unfortunately, unwanted pets can be found any day of the week wondering our streets. It’s not a pleasant sight for Mobilians or visitors of our city to see neglected animals. Pet over population is a community problem. Adoption, spay neuter programs, and children programs are used by Save a Stray and other organizations to decrease the pet over population in the future,” Stephanie informed.
~Check back soon for more coverage of Mobile area events~
Contact Marcus Elizondo: email@example.com