When something tickles a dog's fancy, they wag their tails. When cats are content, they purr. For humans, laughter is the thing, and there was plenty of that going on Thursday evening as the Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter presented a comedy fundraiser.
Staged at Flappers Comedy Club, the evening billed as Laugh Your Tail Off: A Night to Save Animals saw a sellout crowd of more than 200 enjoy the comedic stylings of Harland Williams who has appeared in such films as "There's Something About Mary" and "Dumb & Dumber." Hosted by NBC-4 weatherman Fritz Coleman, the evening also included a performance by Trevor Moore, Zach Cregger and Sam Brown of the Whitest Lids U' Know sketch comedy troupe.
Welcomed by shelter volunteers Pat McCauley and Janina Fischer, supporters had the opportunity to compete in a raffle and auction that offered prizes including VIP tickets to see a Los Angeles Lakers game, or a taping of "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," or "The Ellen DeGeneres Show." Flappers co-owners Barbara Holliday and Dave Reinitz also stepped up to the plate in support of the shelter, by not just donating the venue, but also by offering a lifetime club membership for the evening's auction.
After perusing the auction and raffle treasures, guests were escorted into the downtown comedy club's main room for dinner, cocktails and laughter.
"We're very excited to be doing our first fundraiser of the year at this great new venue," said the event's chairwoman Alaina Kovel.
According to Kovel, the funds raised at Thursday's event will be added to their general fund with the hopes of purchasing new X-ray equipment this year. Along with an appeal for funding, Eva Sippel, the organization's director of shelter relations, also encouraged people who may be interested in fostering kittens to remember that the spring kitten season is rapidly approaching. She also reminded supporters that the shelter offers many ways to help by becoming involved in their Sponsor a Kitten, Train a Shelter Dog and Help Heal a Shelter Dog programs.
Among the special guests who were on hand or who helped make Thursday's fundraiser a success were Volunteers of the Burbank Animal Shelter President Denise Fleck, the organization's board members Scott Soper, Eleanor O'Brien, Cecelia Martinez, Ann Adrianse, Anne Macleod and Marcella Dover, the event committee members Jon Kovel and Andrea Aguirre, and supporters Tiffany Ann Brain and Travis James Riner.
Among the attendees representing the city of Burbank were Assistant City Manager Joy Forbes, her husband, Michael Forbes, who serves as a senior planner with the Community Development Department, and his colleague Ruth Davidson-Guerra, who serves as the assistant community development director for housing and redevelopment.
While this event provided Burbankers with an evening of laughter, please remember that on any given day the Burbank Animal Shelter can be the place where you will find years of laughter and love from a dog, cat or rabbit that is in desperate need of a forever friend and home. If you are looking to bring a furry companion into your life, please make the shelter, located at 1150 N. Victory Place, your first stop. If you would like more information about the shelter, volunteering opportunities and how you can help our city's homeless animals in numerous ways, visit www.basv.org or call (818) 238-3344.