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‘Woofstock’ – Themed event honors Humane Society benefactors, volunteers

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP K.C. DeCastro meets "Ginger," one of the dogs and puppies who appeared at Sunday's Humane Society for Greater Nashua's annual Pets Choice Awards and auction. Volunteer Daniella Pacheco is at left.

NASHUA – Retired HP employee Lee Allison, a longtime volunteer with the Humane Society for Greater Nashua, grew a bit emotional Sunday night in accepting one of three Pets Choice Awards at the society’s annual dinner auction.

At first turning a few witty phrases, such as thanking “the academy for this award,” the emotional moments came when Allison listed all her fellow volunteers and society board of trustees members, whom she credited for making her award possible.

Gov. Chris Sununu, on behalf of his support from the corner office for animal causes since he was elected, and Anheuser-Busch brewery in Merrimack, a longtime Humane Society partner, also received Pets Choice Awards.

Accepting the award was Carla Reardon, herself a longtime Humane Society volunteer who is a vice president of brewery experience at the Merrimack plant.

Adding significantly to the atmosphere in several adjacent function rooms at the Courtyard Marriott in Nashua was the clothing and decor, all of which was based on a Woodstock – or “Woofstock” – theme, inspiring more than a few attendees to deck themselves out in classic 1969 vintage apparel.

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Lee Allison, longtime Humane Society for Greater Nashua volunteer, gets a congratulatory hug after being presented a Pets' Choice Award at Sunday's annual event.

Former GOP House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt, now Sununu’s director of policy, represented the governor Sunday, accepting the award and announcing, to loud cheers, that Sununu, if two pieces of pro-animal legislation currently pending pass, plans to sign the bills into law at the Humane Society.

Attendees early in the evening browsed a seemingly endless array of silent auction items donated by various local companies and individuals. A live auction also took place, with auctioneer Mark Fodero working the crowd for bids.

About halfway through the live auction, Fodero paused for a few moments to allow Charlie Franks, society volunteer and former board chairman, to play a slideshow as part of a special appeal involving the society’s Abby Fund.

New Hampshire’s “kid governor,” Lola Giannelli, rose to present a check to the “fund-a-need” appeal, a $20,000 gift that a donor agreed to match.

Completing the hippie, “flower-child” inspired atmosphere were the services of disc jockey Chris Paras, who organizers thanked for “this groovy music tonight.”

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Decked out in vintage Woodstock theme, Humane Society for Greater Nashua president and CEO Douglas Barry addresses attendees at Sunday's Pets Choice Awards and auction. Chuck Mattia, assistant director of marketing, is similarly decked out in foreground, while an artist's rendition decorates the podium.

Telegraph photo by DEAN SHALHOUP Carla Reardon, member of the Humane Society for Greater Nashua board of trustees, accepts the Pets' Choice Award for Anheuser-Busch, which was chosen for the award at Sunday's annual event. Reardon is a vice president of the company. Behind her is society president and CEO Douglas Barry.