Guests had a hot doggity time at the Friends For Life (FFL) "Among Friends" Gala benefiting Houston's only no kill adoption and rescue organization at the industrial chic, The Astorian, on Thursday, October 1, 2015. Chairs Christine and Micheal McWilliams, and Terri and Roger Peak, along with Underwriting Chair Don Sanders were in awe when record-breaking attendance raised close to $500,000 to help expand FFL's unique life-saving programs.
 
Guests were greeted by Cassie, a tutu touting FFL alumni dog giving a friendly furry curtsey. Before the reception, guests enjoyed cocktails along with potato aloo samosa, coconut curry carrot and cracked fingerling potato. The lite bites were part of award-winning Chef David Cordua's unique custom vegan menu for the evening. Artist Dan Dunn painted picture purr-fect pet portraits live on site while the photo booth captured everyone's inner animal and the playful ambience.
 
Mistress of Ceremonies Courtney Perna of KHOU welcomed guests and introduced the Chairs while guests enjoyed Chef David Cordua's three-course dinner menu which included a kale and cabbage crush slaw salad, sweet corn tamale and spiced pecan empanada. For every table, centerpieces included of flavorful green, white and red pepper gazpachos. Salise Shuttlesworth, Executive Director of FFL, shared moving rescue stories and remarks to all who opened up their hearts to help save pets' lives and give them a chance to find a forever home. The Midlife Crisis and the Hot Flashes provided the tunes while guests wagged their tail on the dance floor.
 
In efforts to save four-legged lives, guests were invited to purchase a pet portrait by artist Dan Dunn, where 60 percent of the proceeds benefited FFL. Each portrait sold will provide 1,859 free rabies vaccinations for pets of low income Houston residents. 
 
In the Mission Market, guests had the opportunity to give back by purchasing custom label wine where each level helps fund daily animal shelter needs. The $50 Baby Bottle to fund vaccines for puppies and kittens, the $100 Vintage Bottle to fund senior animal wellness, and the $150 Special Reserve Bottle to fund medical surgeries raised were a huge hit! Guest Teena Davis was the lucky dog that took home the raffle prize of a $10,000 American Express card.
 
Celebrating "among friends" for their furry friends included: Tanya and Andy Greenwood, Carolyn Levy and Kay Hays, Dan Clark and Joe Loconti, Christine and Micheal McWilliams, Laura Moore and Don Sanders, Chris Sanders, Senator John Whitmire, Jane and Robert Cizik, Paula Cizik, Matthew Dunn, Ann and Johnny Johnson, Margaret and Ben Morris, Terri and Roger Peak, Laurie and Bret Sanders, Andy Schatte, Susan L. Bickley and Robert Scott, Marja and Bruce Dixie Smith, Julie and Don Weir, Ashley and Mark Anderson, Carolyn and Joe Bailey, Avery and Jason Carson, Caroline Fant, Louise and Vince Foster, Ed McMahon, Hershey Grace, Michelle Mantor, Casey Curry, Holly Crawford, Sonia Soto, Estrella and Robert Posey, Bonnie and John Rothpletz, Stacie Cokinos and Pam Radford, Sheri and Steve Scott, David Smith, Harry Bowles, Edward Geiser, Kasandra and Richard Majeres, Kim Hicks and Matthew Miller, Michael Mitchell, Jo Ann and Jackie Moore, Bernie and Ed Powell, Daniel McCracken and Michael Schwartz, Jessica and Ben Shaver.