Photos by Lawrence White.
SARATOGA SPRINGS — Homes for Orphaned Pets Exist (H.O.P.E.) celebrated 17 years of helping people and pets find each other at the 8th Annual HOPE Gala at Saratoga National Golf Club on Friday night, November 8th. The event was a huge success with over 100 items sold in the silent auction, and 100 bottles of wine sold in the wine pull. The food, prepared by Prime, was delicious, the guests were plentiful, and the music was great! Wendy Mongillo, HOPE founder, thanked the large crowd including all the wonderful sponsors and volunteers, and shared that the organization has found homes for 150 pets so far this year. Special guest emcee Steve Caporizzo shared his thoughts on rescue, including a heartfelt poem that he had written years ago, and credited HOPE with rescuing the older animals who are harder to place. Speakers Karyn O’Byrne and Kristina Kline told their HOPE stories, and all 3 of the great speakers encouraged the crowd to volunteer, foster, and/or adopt. Steve then held an impromptu live auction and asked the crowd to donate on the spot, as Pet Connection would match the donations, and the hands went up! (the pic of people holding up $$). Melissa Sgambelluri and her fantastic band sang the beautiful song she wrote called “Rescue me” which was truly a highlight as well. Photographer Lawrence White and Nick LaGuerre of O Snap Photo booth provided great photos and fun. HOPE is so appreciative of Steve Caporizzo and all those who donated and helped make the HOPE Gala such an enjoyable, profitable and fantastic evening. For more information on HOPE and to see upcoming events and dogs and cats available for adoption, please go to hopeanimalrescue.org.