PAWS Chicago: 18 Years and 34,000 Dogs Saved

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Pooches of every pedigree and their proud owners gathered for a very festive fundraiser: the 15th Annual PAWS Chicago Beach Party. Upstairs at the North Avenue beach house was the perfect place for this Paws event, as Castaways restaurant accommodated a couple of hundred dog aficionados on a balmy summer evening, with North Avenue Beach and Lake Michigan providing an ideal scenic background.

Kim Gleeson, Paula Fasseas, Cheri Lawrence with Spencer at PAWS Chicago 15th Annual Beach Party. Photo by #AnimalPrints via

As partygoers approached the entrance, they were cheerfully greeted by PAWS volunteers who were anxious to help all visitors enter with appropriate wristbands. Country music D.J. Lisa Dent emceed the activities upstairs at Castaways as loyal men, women, and children flowed into the party with dogs on leashes, and party outfits.  

Irene Michaels and Arny Granat at the 15th Annual PAWS Chicago Beach Party

As an outstanding no-kill shelter in the Chicago area and an innovative role model facility for all other shelters across the nation to follow, it is vital for PAWS Chicago to raise significant funds to enable them to maintain all of their responsibilities and this year’s beach party was no exception. All guests to this year’s soiree were encouraged to participate in the various fundraisers: a premier live auction, a silent auction, raffle tickets, a photo booth, and even professional caricatures. The ingenuity of the party planners at PAWS was very apparent as they offered attractive items at different price levels for every budget so that all attendees could participate.

An exhilarating live auction conducted by David Goodman caught everyone’s attention and was highlighted by an exotic Hawaiian “Say Hello to Paradise” vacation, a 7-night stay for two in Maui surrounded by 40 acres of tropical gardens while staying at the Waldorf Astoria – Grand Wailea Hotel. Other destinations included getaways to Cortona, Italy, New York City, and the “Fasseas Experience,” a 7 day holiday featuring a private dinner in the Catalina Mountains with Peter and Paula Fasseas in Tuscon, AZ.

Renata M. Block at the 15th Annual PAWS Chicago Beach Party

The evening became very festive with guests indulging on Pawgaritas and hors d’ oeuvres, leading up to a very inspiring speech by Paula Fasseas who emphasized some startling accomplishments by PAWS: since PAWS founding, the number of animals killed in Chicago has dropped from 42,571 in 1997 to 8,682 in 2015. Outstanding!

PAWS Chicago
Supporters at PAWS Chicago 15th Annual Beach Party. Photo from Castaways (Facebook)

Following Paula’s speech, Castaways offered mouthwatering dinner selections of chicken Vesuvio, grilled vegetables, garden salads, along with Vienna beef hot dogs, and hamburgers. The ambiance was flowing throughout the premises as the sunset glowed on the Western horizon and D.J. Dan Holloway from Icon Entertainment played favorite dance music.

Congratulations to PAWS founders Peter and Paula Fasseas, along with all of their assistants and volunteers who made this evening’s event a remarkable success. PAWS 15th Annual Beach Party enables them to continue their never-ending mission: “To build no-kill communities, to end the overpopulation of homeless animals, and to transform animal welfare by setting higher standards, etc.”

See you at the PAWS Fur Ball in November. Woof Woof!

PAWS Chicago
About Irene Michaels

Over the past 25 years I have taken on the roles of a producer, publisher, insider journalist and fundraiser. My artistic interests began early in my teens working as a model and a dancer throughout the U.S. I formed my first modeling agency before I was twenty. While modeling I secured a re-occurring role in the popular daytime TV series General Hospital. Read more...