A chance to support Morris Animal Refuge

Contributed photo
Contributed photo

An effort to raise money for one of the country’s oldest animal shelters will return this month.

The 26th Annual Fur Ball will be held on March 24 at the historic Benjamin Franklin National Memorial Hall at the Franklin Institute. The event will bring together hundreds of animal lovers to show support for the Morris Animal Refuge on Lombard Street, which was founded in 1874. 

The shelter’s largest in-person fundraiser will benefit homeless, abandoned and unwanted pets of the Greater Philadelphia region. 

“The Fur Ball is our largest fundraiser of the year,” said Lewis Checchia, executive director of Morris Animal Refuge. “The funds we raise are critical for our ability to help find forever homes for our animals. Last year, proceeds from the Fur Ball helped us adopt out over 1,000 animals and maintain a 97 percent save rate, and we are looking to save even more lives in 2023.”

The Fur Ball will feature an extensive silent auction, music by DJ Perry Angelozzi and access to the iconic Heart and Brain exhibits at the Franklin Institute. It will also host a cuddling station with some of the shelter’s cutest furry friends.

The night kicks off with a VIP cocktail hour 6-7 p.m., followed by the event reception from 7-11 p.m. Tickets, which can be found at www.phillyfurball.com, are $185 per person for general admission and include a four-hour open bar, food, live music and dancing. VIP tickets ($215) can be purchased by those looking for an extra hour of fun.

Much like in years past, attendees can look forward to a evening of dancing in the memorial hall at The Franklin Institute as well as gourmet fare and signature cocktails. The event will be emceed by Steve Morrison of WMMR’s Preston and Steve and will recognize outstanding members of the Morris Animal Refuge community while providing guests the opportunity to raise money via a 50/50 raffle, a silent auction and a live-auction style Fund The Mission.

Proceeds from the fundraiser will help the Morris Animal Refuge care for homeless, abandoned and unwanted pets. It will also help support one of the country’s first animal welfare institutions with vital programs including the Lifesaver Fund, the Fostering Program and the Adoption Program. 

For nearly 150 years, the Morris Animal Refuge has been an open admission, lifesaving organization offering innovative and high-quality care for cats, dogs and other small animals. It provides a full range of preventive, protective and adoption services for abused, neglected and abandoned animals.

During the Fur Ball, the refuge will also be announcing Bill Lucia as this year’s recipient of the prestigious Elizabeth Morris Award, an honor reserved for leaders in the animal care community who truly embody the spirit of rescue. 

“We are so excited to announce this year’s Elizabeth Morris Award recipient, Bill Lucia,” said Emmy Homan, Director of Development and Marketing at Morris Animal Refuge. “Bill is an incredible animal lover who has a special place in his heart for senior animals looking for their second chance. For more than a decade he has been improving the lives of animals in need through his work with organizations like Morris and The Grey Muzzle Organization. We are honored to have his support and are thrilled to have him as the award recipient at this year’s gala.”