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Applause For Paws Gala Raises Record Funds For Charleston Animal Society

By Kay Hyman for Island Eye News

Party Animals were out in full-force this past weekend as the Applause for Paws Gala shook the roof at the Charleston Gaillard Center Saturday night, October 16, 2021. COVID-19 forced the cancellation of this event three times over the last two years so organizers and patrons were more than ready to put on the party of the year and raised $680,000 for the lifesaving work of Charleston Animal Society. CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS.

Over 350 guests put on their tuxedos, gowns, paisley shirts and vinyl boots for the “Frisky a Go Go” theme and danced the night away to the old school tunes of “First Class Band.”  Gala Chairwoman Laurel Greer shared with the crowd, “Our hearts are filled with gratitude for all of those who shared our vision and supported our lifesaving cause.”  

Carolyn Murray, News 2 Anchor and Charleston Animal Society Board Member, served as the mistress of ceremonies. Doug Warner masterfully conducted the live auction, which included a luxury catamaran vacation experience in the Bahamas for 8 people, a behind-the-scenes tour of Boeing, and an unforgettable weekend in New York City with VIP tickets to the Stephen Colbert Show and dinner with CBS Sunday Morning’s Martha Teichner.

One of the most exciting auction items of the evening was the unveiling on the brand new “No Kill South Carolina 2024” state license plate that involved a bidding battle to obtain the first number “1” plate to be issued.  “Creating the No Kill South Carolina 2024 license plate is important to us as not only does it help to generate needed funds to achieve the goal of finding every adoptable pet a loving home, but the plate also brings awareness to the plight of animals across the state,” said President and CEO of Charleston Animal Society Joe Elmore, CAWA, CFRE.

With the multiple cancellations of this lead fundraising event and other in-person fundraising events during the lingering pandemic, this event was critical to the lifesaving funds necessary for the Animal Society to continue caring for over 15,000 animals this year.

The evening was a smashing success in large part to the generous support of sponsors (SEE BELOW).  

Presenting SponsorHank and Laurel GreerPlatinum SponsorsBlackbaudDelaney Oyster House Caroline Clark Ellen and Ed Harley Valerie Luther Louise and Walt Palmer Hill’s Pet Food4 Legs Foundation 

Gold SponsorsThe Post and CourierPetplanSilver SponsorsCorvey Law FirmHotel IndigoTito’s Handmade VodkaHeartgard / NexgardSean HawkinsSouth Carolina Federal Credit UnionAnson RestaurantCharleston Magazine

 Wilbanks, Smith and Thomas Asset ManagementJoe ElmoreEarly Family FoundationGerri and Linn GreenwoodMartin and Andrea DeputyPNC BankSouthern Eagle DistributorsPat and Martha Waters  Quattlebaum Development Dr. and Mrs. George & Debbie ClarkJane and Jessica GrahamKyle CragerCara Bibbiani and Mike Martin Mike Shewan and Pat Patrick

 Heaven Hill Distillery Courtney TartREV Federal Credit UnionStevens TowingDick and Darlene MurphyBob Nigro and Lee Anne TaylorRosen Hagood


 Moet HennessySeabrook Island RealtyIdexxBlue Cross Blue Shield of South CarolinaGSG AdvisorsKaren and Bob SiegelElizabeth BradhamAnne Bergandpk media solutions William LargeneLifespacesAndrea & Darrell FergusonEncore LumberThe Bank of South CarolinaCraft-Essig & Associates, LLCMuddy Waters CoffeePenny CashCats Only Animal Hospital

Legare, Bailey & Hinske LLCBlue TackPinnacle Financial ServicesWest Ashley Veterinary ClinicRobert and Linda WillsTowBoat U.S.Charles Schwab & CompanyHudson Auto Shumaker, Loop, and Kendrick LLPLauren and John SuttonHampden Clothing

Anderson Insurance AssociatesCharleston Veterinary Referral CenterGloria and Don Ball FoundationRetina Consultants of CharlestonChris VollmerKimberly BatemenYardworksCruz Lawn and TreePeper Law FirmManda and Steve PolettiSalmons Marine Contractors

About Charleston Animal Society

Since 1874, the mission of Charleston Animal Society has always been the prevention of cruelty to animals. Over 15,000 animals will turn to Charleston Animal Society for caring, compassion and hope this year alone. In addition to caring for homeless animals, adopting them into new homes, and reuniting lost pets with their families, the organization responds to animals in crisis as a result of both man-made and natural disasters. The comprehensive shelter medicine program not only provides direct services for as many as 1,200 animals in our system of care at one time, the shelter veterinarians also spay or neuter upwards of 10,000 dogs and cats each year and they provide emergency medical services to critically ill and injured animals arriving at the shelter daily.  For more information, visit

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