On October 23, 2021, Humane Society of Tampa Bay (HSTB) is hosting its 10th annual Tuxes & Tails black-tie gala. The main event of the evening: an adoption runway show, where shelter dogs take center stage to find their forever home. Adoptable cats will be ready for cuddles on the sidelines, too. “I believe the number one reason why the event is so successful is that it’s this big beautiful gala, but there are adoptable animals,” Maria Matlack, director of marketing at HSTB, said. “That's a big draw for people.”
The runway show is just one of many special aspects of the event. This year, guests will enjoy the mystical Enchanted Scotland theme, entertainment (two television anchors will host the event), a silent auction, delicious food and a chance to fall in love with a forever pet. “It’s a big fundraiser for the homeless animals that we have,” Maria said. “Since we're an independent organization, we have to do all of our own fundraising.”
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The team, which has been planning since February, hopes to raise over $400,000 in donations at the event. Money raised from the event goes directly back to the shelter to help better the lives of the homeless animals and will cover the cost of all the medical care, food, bedding, and everything else that the shelter needs to house and take care of the animals that come through their door.
“We think the event is a success because it is really well done as far as décor, food, drinks, entertainment and program,” Maria said. “And also, we're just very fortunate to have a lot of great supporters that come and show up every single year.”
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Photo by Humane Society of Tampa Bay