The invitations keep pouring in for fall fundraisers, and among them is the Nashville Humane Association’s (NHA) Cause for Paws. The popular luncheon returns to Belle Meade Country Club on September 30 and features a fashion show from Jason Wu, presented by Gus Mayer. Co-chairs Leslie Hooper and Alexee Saunders did not know one another before taking on the job but have discovered they have a lot in common, including that they are dedicated to making this the best event to date for the NHA. As always attendees can expect to see adorable, adoptable shelter animals, and Leslie and Alexee filled us in on more of the details.

What can you tell us about the upcoming Cause for Paws?

This is the 33rd annual Cause for Paws, and it is going to be an incredible year for the animals! We are more than excited to be returning in person to Belle Meade Country Club. Cause for Paws is one of NHA’s largest fundraisers and therefore incredibly important to the animals.  

The 2021 event is a catered luncheon, showcasing shelter pets and a fashion show presented by Gus Mayer featuring Jason Wu Collection. We are also honored to announce that the Julia Colton Award is being awarded to Amy Adams Shrunk for a lifetime of philanthropy and dedication to homeless animals and the NHA.  

What are you looking forward to most?

Without a doubt, we are looking most forward to seeing the success of this event put into action at NHA. Of course, our priority is the animals. With that being said, it has been a long time since we have attended any public events, so we are so happy to put on dresses, enjoy a fabulous day with fellow animal lovers, while seeing the new fall fashions by Jason Wu. We could not think of a better introduction back into society. 

Events are back, and people have a lot to choose from this fall. Why they should make Cause for Paws a priority?

Alexee: For me, the answer is easy! This event and all of the proceeds go directly to the NHA, which is such an amazing and necessary organization. Animals are helpless and dependent upon us for survival. The shelter’s life-saving mission and programs protect thousands of animals each year. 

Leslie: The NHA is pivotal in caring for and matriculating animals that cannot help themselves in our local communities. This year has been especially difficult, because so many animals were adopted during the pandemic. Now as people have gone back to work, they are just ridding themselves of their pets, which is terribly unfortunate and sad. NHA does everything they can to find new homes for these animals, but that is no easy task nor is it an inexpensive task to keep these animals alive and healthy.  

What do you love most about the Nashville Humane Association?

We love everything about the NHA! What is not to love? From the incredible people who work daily at the organization to the volunteers and supporters and, of course, all of the animals they protect and place in homes. If you have the opportunity to visit, you should. It is a special place, doing an amazing job providing defenseless pets a chance at a happy life.

Photographs by Annette McNamara and Jayme Thornton