Event Date: November 6, 2021
Location: Royal Sonesta
No. of Attendees: 580
Money Raised: $800,000+
Beneficiary: Citizens for Animal Protection
Honorary Chair: Edna Meyer-Nelson
Chairpersons: Meghan Cornelius and Katie Gibson
Honorees: Kappy Muenzer, Tena Faust, Tama Lundquist, Houston PetSet, Marian & Austin Cornelius, Linda Schmuck & Todd Zucker, Gloria & Frank Meszaros and West Houston Subaru and The Celebrity Pets and their Owners
Emcee: Frank Billingsley
Event Production: Francisco + Co.
Photographs of Honorees: Gittings
Photography: Jacob Power
The Cherished Founder of CAP Was Celebrated at the 35th Annual Celebrity Paws Gala – Fashion, Fun, Furry Friends, Food, Four Wheels and FABULOUS!
Thanks to a cherished honoree and founder, almost 600 hundred guests, sponsors, and a crew of honorees with their precious furry friends, a record-breaking $800,000 was raised at Royal Sonesta Hotel to help rescue, provide shelter and place homeless animals for adoption with loving families.
Not many galas begin with Kool & the Gang’s “Celebration” played to a troupe of dancers, as well as with a marching band entering the ballroom–but this one did–all the way across the ballroom and down the runway! A surprise parade of cakes with sparklers atop completed the entertaining beginning. Channel 2 Weatherman Frank Billingsley served as the evening’s emcee and gleefully greeted guests to the 35-year celebration. He introduced Honorary Chair Edna Meyer-Nelson and Chairs Meghan Cornelius and Katie Gibson, who gave a heartwarming speech about caring for our city’s animals. Special awards were given to sisters Tena Faust and Tama Lundquist and their Houston PetSet Foundation, Marian and Austin Cornelius, Linda Schmuck and Todd Zucker and Gloria and Frank Meszaros and their West Houston Subaru.
After the Sonesta’s tasty meal (which ended with a birthday cake filled with sprinkles) was served, the honors began on stage. Special Honoree Kappy Muenzer, founded this organization 47 years ago and serves as its Executive Director Emeritus. She started the Celebrity Paws Gala three and a half decades ago and in 2011, she completed the state-of-the-art shelter CAP occupies today. Kappy was: serenaded by two songs (including Unforgettable, a favorite of her late husband Al) by Space City Singers, read a poem written by Mike Moriarty, presented a city proclamation, and given a portrait from Gittings. Many members of her family flew into Houston for the evening’s tribute.
The highly anticipated evening highlight was the Celebrity Pet Fashion Show. Pets strutted their paws down the runway with their owners in tow. Fashion producer Lenny Matuszewski orchestrated the fashion show for honorees Shannon and Tim Clarkson with Buddy, Robin and Lance Deutsch with Chico and Amigo, Alicia and Eric Jansen with Obi and Luke, Anna Kaplan with her Kling of the Hill cat Julian, Therese Landa with Stanley, Matt Makaila with Max, Wendy Phillips and Ron Corcoran (Ron was not able to attend due to an arm injury), with Romeo, Sasha Rose and Nakita Pepper, Mica Piro with Baby, Marla Press and Ken Harrison with Tedi, Gail and Norman Stalarow with Mac, and Junior Honoree Abby Albright with her rescue dog, Haven. The Celebrity Pet of the Year award winner was Mica Piro and Baby. What better way to end the night than to have a raffle drawing for a 2021 Subaru donated by West Houston Subaru, who announced that they will be sponsoring the adoption fees for all special needs animals, beginning in 2022!
A successful event is always more successful with assistance from sponsors and major supporters. Those lending their financial support to the organization and this event were: Cindy and Frank Lui, Gloria and Frank Meszaros, West Houston Subaru, Patricia and Sig Cornelius, Brook and Julie Brookshire, Katie and John Gibson, Mary Riley, Carol and Bill Simmons, Robin and Lance Deutsch/Deutsch Fine Jewelers and Gregory Miller.
Socially present (not previously mentioned): Melna Moriarty, Patricia and Sig Cornelius, Kristie and John Gibson, Laura Ward, Doris and Roy Hood, Evelyn and Steve Quick, Liz and Peter Carragher, Janice and Charlie Hall, Mary Kenner, Trini Mendenhall and Philip Royal, Franelle Rogers, Leila Perrin, Sandra Porter, Beth Wolff, Cynthia Wolff, Heidi Rockecharlie, Casey Curry and Carl Hahn, Will Brookshire and Naudia Luviano, Frank DiMaria and Pat Keller, Lara Bell, Wendy Phillips and Christine Johnson.