Friends of Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter Benefit ‘Artful Noir’ at MacArthur Home in Barnegat Light

May 23, 2018
Photo by: Pat Johnson Artist Kerith Creo models an outfit from Wildflowers at the Lighthouse during the Artful Noir event in Barnegat Light Saturday, May 19. Her dress is by fiber artist Zuzu Bard and jacket by Meiko Minz.

Many hands, minds and hearts collaborated on a wonderful event on Saturday night at the home of Congressman Tom and Debbie MacArthur in Barnegat Light to benefit the Friends of Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter. “Artful Noir” was the brainchild of event chairperson Cricket Luker, owner of Wildflowers by the Lighthouse and Wildflowers Too.

“Art and fashion is what I can bring to a party,” said Luker. “I’ve been visualizing Artful Noir for over a year. I love what I do.”

Strolling models – some of them artists, all of them friends – wore fabulous clothing by “Art to Wear” designers including Mieko Minz, whose up-cycling of saris and kimonos is respectful and beautiful; Teresa Maria Widuch’s smartly architectural constructions; Samuel Dong’s sylvan draped dresses; and works by fiber artists Candace Cole and Sara Setzer.

FOSOCAS volunteers and docents gave informal tours of the MacArthur home, a more than gracious donation the MacArthurs gave for the evening. Each docent wore a “fascinater” hat in homage to the Royal Wedding that morning. Luker, an artist, made all of these. But hats are coming back in style as each model showed how dramatic they can be.

Ernie Panachek’s “Fresh Off the Hook” in Viking Village did the catering, and music was provided by a chamber trio. Flowers and additional decorations were provided by the Garden Club of Long Beach Island.

Rustic Drift created a driftwood arch to welcome guests to the garden entrance.

Besides the delightful comforts and pleasures provided to the guests, local artists also set up their work in the garden grotto away from the weather. Artwork provided by Wildflowers Too plus unusual auction gifts, such as a personalized tour of the Philadelphia Zoo, were part of a silent auction.

The reason for the evening, of course, was to provide help for the animals that find their way into the Southern Ocean County Animal Shelter and new this year—a program to keep animals out of the shelter by providing assistance to those who cannot afford veterinarian care.

“Because Someone Helped Me” is an idea that presented itself to FOSOCAS through the group’s experience.

“The shelter receives numerous requests every year from residents of Southern Ocean County who find themselves in the heartbreaking situation of being unable to afford necessary veterinary care for a pet who is often their only companion and also a best friend,” Dottie Reynolds, co-president of the organization, explained. “They choose to surrender their dog or cat to the shelter, hoping that the shelter can provide the medical care that they cannot. As painful as it is to owners, they cannot allow their pets to suffer.”

In the past, these owners left off their pets, went home and grieved their loss while the pets were also grieving, suddenly abandoned to a shelter and deprived of the companionship that had become so important to them. But this new program, “Someone Helped Me,” has begun to change that.

Earlier this year, FOSOCAS identified this as a priority, a huge need, and found a small amount of money to establish this new program. “As stretched as we always are for funds to do all we’d like to, we realized that this was a need that simply had to be addressed. As soon as we did that, we all just knew that we would find a way to provide ongoing funding. We just needed to get started.”

The proceeds from “Artful Noir” will go toward this important new program.

— Pat Johnson

patjohnson@thesandpaper.net

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