Story and Photos by Pat Krause
The 9th Annual Men of the Desert Fashion Show and Charity Luncheon was held on Sunday, December 2nd at the Westin Mission Hills Resort and Spa. The event benefits Animal Samaritans who celebrated their 40th anniversary improving the lives of animals and people. Event co-chairs were Lori Serfling and Patrick Mundt. Events like this take a lot of people to make it happen successfully. Volunteers sometimes make all the difference.
The lobby was full of local pet lovers, some with dogs, who perused the long list of silent auction items. Nearly 50 items were up for bid that included a lot of items for pets — other items catered to people and pet owners. Susan Stein was the producer for the style show. Stein is the Fashion and Scene Editor of Palm Springs Life Magazine. She chose creations for each model for his style which went from casual to a more dressed up look. Stein said always to wear what makes you comfortable in your style.
The models included Eric Bennet, Host of HGTV’S Desert Flippers, Richard DeSantis who is president and CEO of Event Management Productions and Dennis Flaig, Manager of Sak’s Fifth Avenue. Bryan Gallo, KMIR Weathercaster, Don Genhart, Founder of Men of the Desert Fashion Show and Albert Gonzalez from Eight4Nine Restaurant. Gerald Greene, Keller Williams Realty, Scott Histed, Bennion Deville Homes, Al Jones, President CSU Palm Desert Campus Advancement Board. Gary Kief, President, and CEO, Stiletto Entertainment, Robert McCarthy, Founder-CA Health and Fitness plus founder of 3-D bodywork and David Morris, MD, Chief Medical Officer for DAP. The list continues with Nate Otto, President of Hot Purple Energy, David Romness MD, who is Eisenhower Health Emergency Department Operations Director, Mike Thompson, CEO of the LGBT Community Center of the Desert and Brian Tilles, Founder-Corvette Specialties.
All these busy and professional men took time out of their busy days to walk the runway with a dog or dogs. The men each wore several outfits as they walked the runway with all sizes and breeds of dogs. Several of the men walked with more than one dog. One model walked with three dogs wearing red antlers, a real feat. The dogs did cooperate most of the time but occasionally got a laugh from the crowd when they misbehaved a bit. The fashions they wore were from Saks Fifth Avenue. There was a winner of the Desert Handsome Hound photo contest which was Jack Schultz.
Eisenhower was the presenting sponsor. Susan Stein was the Fashion Show Producer, and Richard DeSantis was the event producer and model. The event started with a champagne reception followed by a delicious lunch. A video was shown about the programs and adoption events at the NO KILL shelter for abused and lost animals. It was a time to honor the two key founders for their love and devotion in starting this shelter. Grete Cox and Barbara Flanagan took to the stage to accept the award. They thanked all those who support and work for Animal Samaritans. The star of the show was a three-legged dog named Cleo who helped raise funds for Animal Samaritans.