Gala to benefit Paws and Think 


By Bella Simons 

Paws and Think aims to further its mission to improve lives through the power of the human and dog connection through its annual gala, to be held virtually this year at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 21. 

Guests at the Dogs are Magic gala will include Pet Pals TV host Patty Spitler, award-winning journalist Sarah Jones and a magician. The nonprofit, which will soon celebrate its 20th anniversary, aims to raise $55,000 through the event. The gala theme this year is Pups and Pixie Dust and will include Peter Pan-themed activities. 

Paws and Think is a volunteer-centric, community-based organization that partners with schools, detention centers, youth agencies and more by bringing in dogs to visit. The organization serves between 50,000 to 55,000 people per year through its pet therapy and other programs. 

For example, Paws and Think Executive Director Kelsey Burton said the Paws to Read Program allows kids to virtually read to a therapy dog, helping them build their reading skills. The organization is partnering with 10 schools this year, and soon the program will return to the classroom. 

“As much as we love virtual, there is nothing like being able to sit next to a dog and touch the dog. All these amazing things happen,” Burton said. 

Burton said dogs can make connections with humans that others can’t. 

“(It) boils down to the dogs, that they are non-threatening, they are non-judgemental, they are just a comforting presence. It doesn’t matter what is going on that day, they will want to snuggle with you, and you are their world,” Burton said. 

Learn more and register for the gala at Registration for the gala is free.