Wheels were up at the Lone Star Flight Museum as more than 250 philanthropic animal lovers took flight with the Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston crew for the 9th Annual Wags & Whiskers Brunch and Pet Fashion Show with Event Honoree Ann Kaesermann and Event Chair Melinda Wineinger on Saturday, February 26, 2022.

With table décor representing the Bahamas, Italy, Mexico, India, Egypt and more, the “Around the World with Animeals” themed event raised more than $109,000 for the Animeals program that provides free pet food and vet care to the dogs and cats of Interfaith Ministries’ Meals on Wheels homebound seniors.

Casey Curry served as Emcee and welcomed guests onboard to fly around the world on Animeals Airline, Flight 2022. Curry introduced Marie Magee, Interfaith Ministries Chief Development Officer, who thanked the pet-loving sponsors, board members, and attendees. A multi-faith invocation was offered by Interfaith Ministries’ Interfaith Relations and Community Partnerships Program Manager the Rev. Kim Mabry and Nadia Tajalli, Interfaith Ministries’ Development Chair. Animeals supporters enjoyed all the flight perks while hearing remarks from Wineinger.

The lunch menu included spring mix greens with raspberry vinaigrette along with beef brisket served with oven-roasted potatoes and fresh green beans. Vegetarians enjoyed a garden lasagna, and all guests were treated to mango mousse for dessert.

Interfaith Ministries Board Chair Charlene Chuang presented Kaesermann, a longtime Animeals donor and volunteer, with the 2022 Animeals Champion Award. Curry introduced Animeals Support Specialist Alexis Haynes who shared heart-warming stories about the Animeals program.

With their passport stamped, pet parents and pets headed down the runway showing off their “world traveler” attire. The title of Animeals “Top Pet” from the fashion show judged by local media judges was awarded to Melanie Baxter with her two travel partners Janet and Sally.

Before arriving at the final destination, guests were encouraged to finish up their “duty-free shopping” located at the “silent auction” terminal, which featured luxury experiences and packages for the entire family and furry friends, trips to New York and Key West, tickets to Houston’s visual art events and performances, a Tootsie’s gift card, a private wine class for 20 and more.

Animal lovers who traveled to support Animeals and Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston included: Lead donor Fred G. Marshall, IM’s Board Chair Charlene Chuang, Chair Elect Randall Evans, Vice Chair Dr. Kathy Flanagan, Immediate Past Chair Franklin J. Harberg, Jr., Secretary Henry Florsheim, and board members Wendy Cooper, Dr. Vasant Garg, Tyler Juergens, Aamir Shah, Nadia Tajalli, and Rev. Dr. Tamla Wilson and the Animeals staff and volunteers who make sure no pets go hungry. Strutting their stuff in the fashion show included: CW39’s Maggie Flecknoe and Daisy, Sholeh Edwards and Oreo, Kamryn Arellano and Sloane, LCA Houston Magazine’s Ruchi Mukherjee and Rugan, Claire Orellana and Marshall, Anthony Thomas and Fancy, Rachel Feiertag with Zim and Kuma, Caleb and Rena Wolfe and Brady, Lynda Carouthers and Gucci, Ashley Hashemi and George, Adrian Salgado and Mookie, CultureMap’s Steven Devadanam and Banksy, Melanie Baxter with her two travel partners Janet and Sally.

Media judges for the pet fashion show included: Freddy Cruz, Freddy’s Huge Ask Podcast; Sarah Leftwich, Houston Modern Luxury Magazine; and Jennifer Roosth, Society Texas Magazine.

The Brunch was made possible with the support of the following sponsors: Private Plane Sponsor – Fred G. Marshall in loving memory of his wife Linda; Business Class Sponsor – Saranne and J. Livingston Kosberg; Premium Class Sponsors –  Charlene Chuang, Marian and Paul Cones, Maureen Quirk and Lesley Harris, and Don A. Sanders; Frequent Flyer Sponsors –  alliantgroup, Jen and Purvez Captain, Polly and David Roth, Paula Sutton & Bill Gross, Nadia Tajalli and Dr. Shahin Tavackoli, Dr. Kim Tran and Dr. Vasant Garg, and Tracy and Connie Williford; Prosecco Sponsor – Total Wine & More; and Media Sponsors: Bellaire Connect, CultureMap, Cypress Living Magazine, Hedwig Village, Hot in Houston Now, Houston Woman Magazine, Key Magazine, PetTalk Magazine and Swoon Memorial.