By Diane Herbst.At “A Furry Tail Evening” fundraiser Saturday night in Mt. Kisco, NY to benefit homeless animals, put on a rousing performance despite having lost his voice a few days earlier. Thomas and his wife, — dressed in a stunning maroon Marchesa gown — organized the event, which raised some $350,000 for Pets Alive, an animal rescue in Middletown, NY that in the last year alone has saved some 1000 dogs, cats, horses and assorted other furry creatures, most about to be euthanized at other shelters.
And the event literally saved the life of the rescue, down to its last $5000 and unable to meet its $40,000 per month operating expenses. “I knew every penny would count,” says , who with adopted a dog named Tyler from Pets Alive a few years ago. At the start of the night, didn’t know just how low the Pets Alive coffers were. “They didn’t want me to scare me,” she says. Adds : “It was really amazing that so many people would come and give of their time, their money and their hearts to something that we knew literally couldn’t survive without it.”
American Idol finalist Chris Daughtry opened for Thomas. A dog lover himself, he has a shitzu, a miniature poodle and a toy poodle at home. “I’ve been dying to take them out on the road with me, there’s nothing like having them for company,” says Daughtry, who is working on a new album he hopes to finish early next year. “I miss them. They’re like my kids.”
Tennis legend Andre Agassi and his wife, tennis star Steffi Graf, flew in from Las Vegas just for the event — aptly held at a tennis club — and donated their time to play tennis for a few hours with the highest bidders the following day. “It all starts with and , they are dear friends of ours for so many years, and have come through for us on so many levels,” says Agassi, who even missed the last game of his son’s undefeated season to attend the fundraiser. “They could tell me to jump off the end of the world and I would do it.”
Pictures © Kevin Mazur