Paul Penzone named honorary chair for 2017 ‘Evening to Paws’

An Arizona Animal Welfare League volunteer at the 2016 Evening to Paws. (Photo by Arizona Animal Welfare League)

The Arizona Animal Welfare League in partnership with PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, is bringing South American flair to its annual fundraiser, Evening to Paws, March 18.

The event will transform Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia’s ballroom into the “CoPawCobana.” The resort is at 4949 E. Lincoln Drive in Scottsdale.

“Evening to Paws is AAWL’s biggest fundraiser of the year,” said Judith Gardner, president and CEO of AAWL, in a press release. “This event brings together the community’s most dedicated animal lovers, and we are humbled by the support of our honorary chair, Sheriff Paul Penzone, and PetSmart Charities. This is going to be a night to remember.”

Guests will channel their inner Carmen Miranda – no fruit hat required – at this gala while sipping rum cocktails, strolling through the upscale “market” of hundreds of unique auction items, then samba to the sounds of Bossa Brazil before enjoying a Taste of Brazil plated dinner, the release stated.

Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone and his wife, Veronica, are the event’s honorary chairs attending the evening’s full activities.

“Arizona Animal Welfare League has long been a trusted partner of PetSmart Charities and has made great strides in addressing the needs of pets in the Phoenix community,” said David Haworth, president of Phoenix-based PetSmart Charities, in the press release.  “We look forward to celebrating their dedication to local animal welfare issues and promoting local pets in need of a lifelong forever home at this year’s Evening to Paws event.”

AAWL is the state’s largest no-kill shelter. Proceeds from this event support more than 4,000 homeless animals AAWL rescues and rehabilitates every year, the release stated.

In December, the shelter partnered with Colorado-based National Mill Dog Rescue to provide shelter, healthcare and boarding for two dozen Maltese and Yorkie puppy mill dogs.

The event begins at 6 p.m. and is expected to last until 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $250 per person. For more information, visit

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