PetSmart Charities Celebrates in Style with a Party for the Pets

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Celebrities, Mr. Blackwell, Dominick Dunne and NBC's "Deal or No Deal" Beauties Make a Deal and Help PetSmart Charities Raise Matching Funds

PetSmart Charities celebrated at Party for the Pets on Sunday, August 26, 2007 with an announcement to give the Los Angeles area $14 million, the largest philanthropic gift ever made to any community for pet over-population programs. "Many 'Top Dog' and 'Cat's Meow' celebrities and guests who share a love of animals helped PetSmart Charities raise matching funds for Los Angeles spay and neuter programs," said the day's honoree and 2-time academy award nominee, Carol Connors.

The celebrity-packed event took place at the Hancock Park estate of Carol Wior, Slimsuit® swimwear designer. Wior's Italian-designed villa was the perfect lush setting for an afternoon of mingling with celebrities, an incredible live auction, and entertainment that kept the crowd laughing one minute, and moved to tears the next.

Carol Connors and some of her famous friends including Kate Linder, Charlene Tilton, Fred Willard, Suzan Hughes and Dominick Dunne celebrated together at the sensational party to support Los Angeles pets.

Leyla Milani and five of NBC's "Deal or No Deal" briefcase wielders made a deal to support PetSmart Charities with their attendance at the Party for the Pets. They helped showcase the animals up for adoption (thanks to Much Love Animal Rescue), and raised the heat throughout the shady pool-side extravaganza.

The afternoon's highlights included live entertainment by Carol Connors, who unveiled her original song "Unconditional Love, Unconditionally" which is featured on the PetSmart Charities 2007 fund-raising video. Donning a full-body cat suit, Connors shared the path behind the song; which was a tribute to her "M, the Wonder cat," written just after her fifth Emmy nomination for the music to "Bob Hope Presents: Morris the Cat Salutes America's Pets." Joining Connors on the infamous "To Know Him is to Love Him," written for her by Phil Spector was Florence La Rue (The Fifth Dimension); guests smiled and swayed to the well-known hit.

Closing the entertainment portion was music producer Eddie Reasoner, from Nashville with his original song, "Happy Birthday, It's Your Day."

"Happy Birthday, Mr. Blackwell," said Reasoner as he finished the song. Mr. Blackwell, the veteran style watcher, was among the guests, and surely made notes on the outlandish pet-themed outfits worn by Connors and "top dog Dalmation" Barbara Lazaroff.

The exciting live auction began with the Kawai piano played by Connors and Reasoner. Other sensational auction items included a one week stay in Kennebunkport, Maine, a "gem painting" of a Great Dane by artist Ilya Schar, worth over $25,000, made with precious gems including emeralds, rubies, onyx and tourmaline, and a one of a kind photo print of two "kissing" lions in Africa (taken by artist Cheryl Medow, sister of Carol Connors).

Flanking the Elvis Presley impersonator during one of many comical party moments, were Carol Connors and Linda Thompson -- the real-life "first" and "last" loves of the legendary Elvis Presley.

Youngest celebrity guest was 14 year-old actor Dylan Crowley, ("Barney: The Land of Make Believe") and a proud owner of two Newfoundland dogs -- aside from the other four-legged kind -- up for adoption.

PetSmart Charities creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets and raises awareness of animal welfare issues. Since 1994, PetSmart Charities has donated more than $52 million to animal welfare agencies and, through its in-store adoption programs, has helped save the lives of more than 3 million pets.

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RACHEL PAAP
RP Worx
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