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October 14, 2006 - Puttin’ On the Max, Mexican Fiesta Party

What: Annual silent auction and volunteer recognition event

Where: Four Points By Sheraton Denver Southeast

When: Saturday October 14th

Time: 5:30 pm

Ticket Prices: $87.50 per person

Beneficiary: MaxFund Animal Adoption Center

Host(s): Dr. William Suro

Mistress of Ceremonies: Lynn Carey, CBS4 News team

Executive Director: Nanci Suro

Entertainment: Jaime and Evelyn Guillen

Sponsors: Pandora’s Jewelry, Douglas County Animal Hospital, 1st Bank, Veterinary Referral Center of Colorado, Canine Rehabilitation and Conditioning Group

Menu: Grilled steak with red wine shallot, tequila lime shrimp, grilled vegetable strudel with New Mexico chili sauce

Attendance: 300

Attire: Mexican Fiesta

Event Coordinator: Melissa Martini

Blacktie Photos by: Marcelo Mainzer


 MaxFund founder, Dr. William Suro, and Tanner
MaxFund founder, Dr. William Suro, and Tanner

by Marcelo Mainzer

"The greater love is a mother's; then comes a dog's; then a sweetheart's." - Polish Proverb

For thousands of years they have kept us safe and warm, protected us from pests of all sizes and stood in the path of loneliness. Our pets may be canine, feline, or something else; what they all share in common is a dependence on us to provide for them. Sometimes, however, things happen to separate us from our pets or force us to give them up and that is when organizations like the MaxFund Animal Adoption Center are such a blessing. MaxFund is a non-profit organization that was established in May of 1988 to provide medical care for injured pets with no known owners, and to seek out new homes for these animals once they have recovered.

The above statement states in a clinical fashion what MaxFund is, but MaxFund is so much more than that. MaxFund is a group of people from very diverse backgrounds who share a love for animals. MaxFund volunteers are children and seniors, women and men, professionals and working class who come from every ethnic, social and religious denomination. Maybe what sets them apart is an extra dose of compassion.

On Saturday October 14th, 300 of these extraordinary people, and almost a dozen extraordinary dogs, met at the Four Points By Sheraton Denver Southeast to celebrate “Fiesta Style” in support of the MaxFund Animal Adoption Center. They talked and had cocktails and had the opportunity to bid on hundreds of wonderful silent auction items. Some would take home gift baskets, art, crafts, Halloween items, beds and bowls and other things for their pets, jewelry, gift certificates and much, much more. Some few very special ones would meet a new addition to their families.

When the lights dimmed, announcing dinner, attendees made last-minute bids of their favorite items and adjourned to the dining room for more socializing. They were greeted by MaxFund founder, Dr William Suro, who voiced his appreciation for their continued support in the face of a current decline in giving. Dr. Suro also offered the opportunity to community leaders to step up to the plate in their support and commitment, and become board and committee members of MaxFund.

Dr. Suro then introduced Mistress of Ceremonies, CBS4 News team reporter Lynn Carey. Ms. Carey has been a supporter and volunteer for MaxFund for a long time. Lynn is a self-admitted “pet fanatic” with “three kitties and two daughter dogs, and my Cheyenne Autumn, my boy dog, who is from the MaxFund.” Lynn talked about her furry family like most pet owners, with love, affection and humor. She said, “The reason I love the MaxFund so much is that nobody gets put down at the MaxFund, everybody has a chance for a long wonderful life.”

Puttin’ On the Max is not only a way for MaxFund to raise money and awareness but also to honor those who have given of their time and resources over the past year. PetSmart store manager Tony Willemse took the microphone and asked several of the tireless volunteers to rise and receive applause and a token of appreciation. The volunteers were Matt Adams of the Rocky’s Ford Club, Jan Eckhardt, who does the laundry for all the animals, DPS schoolteacher Amy Anhoen, Diane Kirkpatrick, who has been a volunteer for two years, and Abby Patterson, who helps with the foster program.

Mexican food has spice and flare and so does salsa music. Supporters of the MaxFund were treated to a fast-paced demonstration of that fiery dance by Jaime and Evelyn Guillen, who have been married and danced together for over thirty years.They are from Barranquilla, Columbia, South America. Afterward, Lynn Carey returned to the stage and introduced the stars of the show: Cola, Truman, Max, Muffy ( aka...Toothpick Legs!), Marley, Lester, Boomer, Tanner and Cinnamon. They were large and small, short and long-coated, old and young and they all have a lot of love to give.

In a special surprise part of the evening, two young volunteers were recognized for their outstanding contribution to the MaxFund. First, Coco Wham, who at 12 years of age is collecting signatures to get the MaxFund shelter on “Extreme Makeover,” and Eva Tlaxcalteco, who has continued a family tradition of volunteerism at the MaxFund Wellness clinic and hopes to be a veterinarian.

The evening included a live auction and a door prize drawing, a delicious meal, music and of course the company of canines. Since its inception in 1988, the MaxFund has found adoptive homes for more than 15,000 animals. In addition, over 20,000 spays and neuters have been provided, mostly for pets of low income families. MaxFund participates in mobile spay/neuter clinics in the San Luis Valley. Our pets are a reminder of our connection to the natural world, its gifts and our responsibility to it.

"I think dogs are the most amazing creatures; they give unconditional love. For me they are the role model for being alive." - Gilda Radner

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