Gala chairperson Rachael MacFarlane and Heaven on Earth board president Ritchie Geisel hosted the event, which featured delicious vegetarian and vegan food, musical entertainment by the Rich Ruttenberg Trio, two compelling videos about the work we do produced by Matt Vance (click here and here to see them), and both silent and live auctions, led by well-known auctioneer John Moschitta, Jr.
The success of our Gala
has been instrumental in making all this possible, so we salute everyone who contributed to it, as sponsor, donor, or volunteer, including the hard-working members of the Gala Steering Committee
: Rachael MacFarlane; Ritchie Geisel; Lisa Medwid; Tammy List; Pamela Geisel; Suzanne Lofland; Matt Vance; and Leandra Lawrence.
â€œWe are excited to be named a Top-Rated 2014 Nonprofit,â€ said Ritchie Geisel
, Board President.Â â€œWe are proud of our accomplishments this year.Â The Top-Rated Nonprofit award was based on the large number of positive reviews that we received â€" reviews written by volunteers, donors and clients.
While the location has changed, a constant through the years is one specially-named room at the sanctuary. Â Board President Ritchie Geisel and his wife Programs Director Pamela Geisel gifted the room to Heaven on Earth in 2006 in memory of their dear friend, Joanne Starks.
If you'd like learn about gifting a tribute room at Perryâ€™s Place, please contact Board President Ritchie Geisel at email@example.com.
(l to r) Carrie Ann Inaba, Ritchie Geisel, Jon Mack, Rachael MacFarlane, Brian Werdesheim and Marie Ambrosino
After the tours, Board President Ritchie Geisel presided over the official ceremony.
"This is a day we've dreamed about, and it's finally happened," said Ritchie.Â "Obviously this has been a tough week for this country...the tragedies in Boston and in Texas.Â It's been a lot of sad news this week-lives [have been] lost.Â I think maybe that makes it even more important for us today to be celebrating a life that was lived well, a life that will result in thousands of precious little lives having a future."
Ritchie thanked and acknowledged some of the many people responsible for Perry's Place: Heaven on Earth Founder Eri Kriteman, The MacFarlane Family, Marie Ambrosino , Matt Dierckman (real estate broker), Pedro and Sheila Cordova (architects), Steven Bohrer (contractor), Suzanne Lofland (Board Member, Facilities Director, and Project Coordinator), Bob Wynne (Artist-in-Residence; his beautiful cat portraits adorn the walls), Leandra Lawrence (Sanctuary Manager), Melissa Godlash (Board Member, Volunteer Director) and Pamela Geisel (Board Member, VP, Programs Director).
"After we lost Per, my brother Seth in his infinite generosity wanted to make a donation to an animal charity and it was the brilliance of Marie Ambrosino that brought Heaven
on Earth and the MacFarlanes together.Â And what a marriage it has been.Â Ritchie
and Pam and Eri...thank you for welcoming us into your family and honoring our precious Per in this way."
also discussed No Cats Left Behind, a campaign to raise $2 million for Perry's Place and all of the programs of Heaven
on Earth.Â He
stressed that just as all of the cats living at Perryâ€™s Place have been given their own names, the rooms theyâ€™re living in are also looking to be named.