St. Louis–based Simons Jewelers is gearing up to host an annual fundraising event that’s had a major effect on the lives of homeless animals—dogs, cats, and even horses and pigs—over the past 20 years.
“A Paws for Celebration,” which store owner Simon Katz debuted in conjunction with the Humane Society of Missouri Friends Council 20 years ago, is slated for Oct. 9 this year, with an expected attendance of more than 400.
“A Paws for Celebration” flyer (courtesy of Simons Jewelers)
The store underwrites the event every year, and partygoers “write checks directly to the Humane Society,” says Katz. “That’s how it works and it’s worked well.” No doubt: Over the past 20 years, the event has raised more than $750,000 for the animal facility.
Katz does it all for the critters, of course, but the brand exposure at the large-scale event is undeniable. And “we sometimes see a [bump] in sales, and sometimes not,” he says. “It really varies. But it’s always a great thing for us, and we consider it the kickoff for our holiday season.”
This year’s “Paws” will feature cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and a preview of jewelry from Roberto Coin, Mazza Co., Roberto Demeglio, and Joshua J, curated specifically to entice holiday shoppers.
The party is open to the public, but entrance doesn’t come cheap—nor should it, considering its worthy cause. The baseline Pet Lover ticket ($50) includes a raffle ticket for a shopping spree; the second tier Pet Patron ticket ($100) includes three raffle tickets; the Pet Benefactor ticket ($200) offers seven chances to win the raffle; and the Top Dog ticket, priced at $500, includes 20 chances to nab the grand prize.
The real brilliance of the entry fee, in terms of business, is that it puts a $50 store gift certificate into the hands of every single guest. The certificate is good only through Dec. 31, ensuring that nearly every partygoer will be back—and soon.