The Coast News Group

23rd annual event a smashing success

RANCHO SANTA FE — About 400 supporters turned out for the 23rd annual Spring Fling benefiting the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe, June 4. The event was held for the second year at the Woodward Center.
Rocky, the valiant little Sheppard mix puppy that survived a coyote attack in the Los Angeles area, was the star of the evening, appearing on news stations all over Southern California. Although he will always have a good-sized scar in his side, his doctors say he should live a long, normal life.
The Broadway Tails event saw guests sampling the wares of local restaurants and being treated to music by Wayne Foster Entertainment. Guests had the opportunity to bid on silent and live auction items. Items included an opportunity to ring the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange and spend Christmas at Times Square.
“The most important thing about this event tonight is that it will raise a lot of money to help support orphan animals,” said Michael Arms, CEO of Helen Woodward.
The mission of this unique organization is to provide education and therapeutic programs for people and humane care and adoption for animals.
“It supports all the programs at the center and all the funds raised go directly there. We are a no kill facility,” said board member Chris Breining.
The evening opened as guests sipped their favorite beverages and sampled finger food items such as smoked trout in endive and bruschetta, while looking over the silent auction items.
“We adopted our dog Thunder (a lab-shepherd mix) from here last year after this event. We love her. Our family loves her,” said Joe and Stacey Phillips of Rancho Santa Fe.
Front and center this year was the Pet Encounter people and animals.
Supervised by Robin Cohen, these special animals provide care for wounded warriors, Alzheimer’s patients, abused children and many others.
Prunella and Pie and their handlers Liane Leist and Marie Brown were an example of these four-legged therapists. They were on hand for petting, touching and hugging.
“I love animals and I want to support the Helen Woodward Animal Center,” said Karen Boyle of Valley Center.
“We are dog fans from way back,” added her husband Allen who was sporting a top hat for the black tie event.
Russ and Jill Mann of Covario, a company that provides free search engine marketing software to the center, were also in attendance.
“We feel there is nothing more important than finding a lost child or a lost pet and getting them back to their family,” Russ Mann said.
To learn more about the Helen Woodward Animal Center, visit or call (858) 756-4117.