The Coast News Group
Carol Cannizzo and Deborah Zamuner at the April 29 fundraiser that raised money for FACE Foundation, which helps families afford life-saving surgery for their pets. Photos by Christina Macone-Greene
CommunityRancho Santa Fe

Bags & Baubles fundraiser for pets draws large crowd

The eighth Annual Bags & Baubles fundraiser to support the FACE Foundation attracted more than 400 guests on April 29 at a private estate in Rancho Santa Fe. Attendees had the opportunity to peruse and bid on select handbags, jewelry, sunglasses, accessories, and more. The items — both new and “gently loved” — were donated by individuals and businesses.

While the final numbers have yet to be tallied, Danae Davis, executive director of the FACE Foundation, said the fundraiser raises more than $125,000 for local pets and families.

Sharon Howland and the Bags & Baubles mascot, Lulu.

“The event was fabulous — we had over 80 volunteers help on event day and, as a small staff of six, it would have been impossible to pull off without them,” Davis said. “Some even came from out of town and out of state to be there, so we cannot thank them enough. We are grateful to everyone who attended to help fundraise for our mission to save pets and help families.”

The FACE Foundation, headquartered in San Diego County, provides funds to pet parents who need financial assistance so that their pets can have a one-time, life-saving surgery. The goal is that pet parents never have to make the painful decision of euthanasia based on economics.  Since its inception in 2008, the FACE Foundation has saved more than 2,000 family pets.

Thanks to generous sponsors and underwriters, the FACE Foundation spends a minimal amount of money for hosting the Bags & Baubles event.

On the scene was Lulu, the Bags & Baubles mascot and honorary canine chair, and her pet parent Sharon Howland. The duo walked around and was greeted by many wanting to know about Lulu’s story. The now 14-year-old Dachshund had a life-saving surgery on her cervical spine several years ago which was funded by the foundation.

Lulu, dressed to impress in pink, was a magnet for dog lovers.

“This is just a wonderful day,” said Howland, holding Lulu.

Every year, the donations of designer handbags, jewelry and sunglasses increases. Also, opportunity drawings for baskets with themes such as Kate Spade and Tory Burch were highly sought.

Handbags ranged from vintage, designer vegan and crossbody bags to shoulder bags, clutch, wallets, handle bags and evening bags. If someone decided an item was a must-have, they had the opportunity to use a “buy it now” feature.

Katrina O’Donnell once again created animal topiary floral designs. Like in previous years, they were all purchased soon after the event kickoff.

Food and drink for the day were provided by Hooters, Tofurky, Cravory Cookies, Jimbo’s, BK Cellars, Sparkletts, Café Gratitude, MGN, Coomber Family Wines, Jenny Wenny Cakes, Mama Neal’s Cookies, Opera, Go Max Go and Sima’s Gourmet Catering. 

The media sponsor was KUSI News.

Event sponsors include The Robb Family, Howard Finkelstein and Lorin LeGrant, Ranch & Coast Magazine, The Muha Family, The Spitcaufsky Family, California Veterinary Specialists, Wendy A. Missy and Phillip Cameron, Dr. Wendy Khentigan, MD, Veterinary Specialty Hospital, Wendy and Willy Perry, Animal Protection and Rescue League, Cheryl Passer Design, Sky Facial Plastic Surgery, The Flash Collective, TLC The Lane Company Insurance Services, The Narrow Gate, The Ark, Lifetime Animal Care Center, La Jolla Veterinary Hospital, High Valley Veterinary Hospital, Performance K9 Training, VCA Animal Specialty Group & Eye Clinic for Animals, Torrey Pines Bank,, Deux Lux, Kings Pawn, Plaza Boulevard Pet Hospital, The Real Real, Kendra Scott, and John Matty, Co., Prime Jet, Drake Center, Kendra Scott, Pet Emergency & Specialty Center, Yelp, Kearny Mesa Subaru, and, Carlsbad Golf Center.

The Bags & Baubles event committee included chair Missy Cameron and youth co-chair, Cassidy Hart. Other committee members consisted of Heidi Arambula, Marie Green, Rachel Hart, Gina Jordan, Adriana Padilla, Cheryl Passer, Cini Robb, Debra Robb-Roveda, Bob Roveda and Jill Wasserstrom.

“We are eternally grateful to our item donors and sponsors who believe in our mission enough to contribute to not only this event, but to what it represents to our community members,” Davis said. “Thanks to everyone who made it possible and for helping to save lives and make a lasting impact in our community.”

For more information including upcoming events at the FACE Foundation, visit or call (858) 450-3223.