Tampa, FL, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011 ­--  More than 225 pet lovers went back in time to create a brighter future for Tampa Bay families whose cherished pets need life-saving veterinary care. Rock Around for Pets, a 1950s-themed charity event, raised a net total of about $55,000 to benefit Frankie’s Friends. A nonprofit foundation, Frankie’s Friends was founded in Tampa in 1999 to assist financially strapped families with veterinary bills for emergency and specialty treatments.

“The evening was a wonderful success,” says Bonni Voiland, Frankie’s Friends executive director.  “For our first-ever event in the Tampa Bay area, we set a goal to raise $25,000. Remarkably, the community really stepped up, and more than doubled our original target.

“Frankies’ Friends funds treatments provided at one of the BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospitals (formerly called Florida Veterinary Specialists) in Tampa, Brandon, Clearwater and Sarasota,” says Voiland. BluePearl adds to Frankie’s Friends funding by providing additional discounts to each pet who is helped.

The T. Pepin Hospitality Centre came to life as guests -- donned in poodle skirts, bow ties, rolled-up blue jeans and white t-shirts -- enjoyed the live vocal harmony and doo-wop sounds of the ‘50s by Cactus Jack and the Cadillacs. A costume contest, pet-themed games of skill, and assorted appetizers and desserts donated by some of Tampa Bay’s finest restaurants rounded out the evening.

Lucky winners of the silent auction scored more than 85 fantastic donated items, including a Harley-Davidson Sportster, compliments of Jim’s Harley-Davidson of St. Petersburg; a 6-day/5-night Paris culinary experience including airfare, accommodations at a four-star hotel and cooking lessons at the Cordon Bleu; and a guitar autographed by country stars Lady Antebellum.

The event was chaired by Lisa DeBartolo Miggs.

Presenting sponsors for Rock Around for Pets were well-known Tampa Bay benefactors Candy and Eddie DeBartolo and the DeBartolo Family Foundation. Johnnie Level sponsors for the event were the A.D. Morgan Corporation and Carlton Fields P.A.  Daisy Level sponsors were Jean & Jim Palermo and Jim’s Harley-Davidson of St. Petersburg. Dudley Level sponsors were Bayshore Animal Clinic; BluePearl Veterinary Partners, Bob’s Busy Bee Printing, Fundraising for A Cause, Get the Picture, State Farm Agent Pamela F. Patterson, and R.S.B.P. Events. Polly Level sponsors were Aimee Bany;  Dominguez & Edwards SCI Companies; Nadia Grannon & Benjamin Heldfond; Lauren & Chris Kwilecki; Charles Saulino Jr.; and Bonni Voiland.

If you’d like to help save the life of a pet whose family cannot afford the cost of medical care or supplement the cost of care for a police officer’s k-9 partner or search-and-rescue-dog, please visit www.frankiesfriends.com or call 888.465.PETS.

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