Z Life: Rolling the Dice for Furry Friends

What do you get when you combine compassionate people, gambling, and cocktails? Aside from the occasional social faux pas, the result is thousands of dollars benefiting neglected and abused animals and (on a lighter note), an outrageously fun night out to remember.pic-1

Charitable, beautiful peeps and good times converged last weekend for Healing Hearts Animal Sanctuary’s Fifth Annual Casino Night. Held at the impressive Gemini Acres Equine in Cave Creek, the fundraiser is one of the organization’s most robust events of year.

The non-profit, Healing Hearts animal sanctuary has its formula down:

  1. Gather lovely, big hearted people from across the Valley in a glam setting.
  2. Add in a few dozen (just for fun) craps, blackjack, roulette, and poker gaming tables hosted by entertaining dealers—but sans a “side-eye” giving floor supervisor.
  3. Spoil your guests with gourmet cuisine, compliments of Chef Eddie Matney.
  4. Update attendees throughout the night on upscale silent auction items (travel, VIP experiences, jewelry, art, sporting events etc.).
  5. And then, BAM! Cue in the emotion by way of several doe-eyed rehabilitated horses. Observe guests verklempt as the magnificent creatures gallop along a runway, shaking their tails as a gesture of gratitude for the community’s support.
  6. Watch the donations steadily flow in to support the incredible and necessary work of Healing Hearts Animal Rescue and Refuge.

The Casino Night event formula works. Case in point – I had the pleasure of attending the event last Saturday and gave serious thought to donating my children’s college savings toward the cause. For a quick sec I also considered giving funds planned for my next designer handbag. Thankfully, I came to my senses and shut down that idea STAT! Blame it on the champagne.

pic2pic3Located on five acres in New River, AZ, Healing Hearts Animal Sanctuary was established in 2005. The organization provides a safe haven for neglected, abandoned or abused animals while promoting compassion and humane treatment for all animals. Focusing beyond education, the organization strives to empower people to have successful relationships with pets—including young children. Healing Heart’s Books in the Barn program entails interaction between children (pre-k and up) and rescue horses, whereby young readers practice and strengthen their literacy skills by reading in front of a horse. Super cute!

Volunteers are imperative to the organization—more than 100 generous hearts from across the Valley volunteer at the refuge to care for approximately 40 horses and 15 additional large breed animals (cows, burros, sheep etc.). Healing Hearts Animal Sanctuary operates solely on donations from private donors, corporate sponsors, foundation grants and event revenue—all benefiting basic needs for the neglected and abused rescue animals at the no-kill animal facility.

Healing Hearts Animal SanctuaryAs the event came to an end last weekend (not for my crew, AFTER PARTY!) I bid adieu to the majestic, intuitive creatures still moving about on the runway. They looked content and keenly aware of the giving hearts nearby who helped raise more than $40,000 on their behalf—most notably, the staff and volunteers of Healing Hearts—a unique group of dedicated people working to provide hope and refuge for our community’s furry friends.

Healing Heart’s Fifth Annual Casino Night Sponsors include:

Bondurant Racing School, Cre8ive Events, Joellen & Phil Doornbos, Resnick & Louis, PC, Gemini Acres Equine, Eddie’s House, and Molina’s Fine Jewelers

 Event images by:

Blaire Catherine