Glitter, Glamour, Fur and Fun! Inside CAP’s 50th Anniversary Bash

Danielle and Derek Gillespie with Claire

MORE THAN 600 party animals gathered at the Royal Sonesta to celebrate 50 years of Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP).


The ballroom was decked out with glittery, glamorous floral arrangements and swaths of shiny fabric, in addition to several IG-worthy photo backdrops. Violinist Radu John warmed up the crowd with electrifying tunes played on a light-up violin, and JD Entertainment characters — like a Champagne-toting cat — roamed the room.

The main event was, as always, a fur-tastic fashion show, emceed by animal-loving television personality Frank Billingsley. Gala honorees strutted their stuff alongside their pets, and supporters Jody Merritt and Steve Spencer’s cat, Yuli, was named the Celebrity Pet of the Year. Other honorees included JD Adamson with Dolly; Deborah and Ernesto Bautista with Asher and Penelope; Rose Chen and David Webster with Muffin; Cortney Cole-Hall with Leo and Elia; Michael Gabbanelli with Daisy; Danielle and Derek Gillespie with Claire; Casey and Ryan Mitchell with Gabby Win; and Sonia Soto and Jeff Hoffman with Layla.

West Houston Subaru raffled off a 2023 Crosstek, which revved up the evening’s proceeds. The till currently stands at $725,000, with more donations rolling in.


Sterling Woerner and Kathryn Bonesteel

Yaritza and Alexander Scott

Austin and Marian Cornelius

Steve Spencer and Jody Merritt with Yuli

Bill Baldwin, Hallie Vanderhider and Fady Armanious

Cassidy Harriman and Dinah Linn

Shelby Kibodeaux and Bruce Padilla

JD Entertainment

Cindy Peoples and Mary Kenner

Rosemary McDonald and Jacqueline Swilling

Courtney Cole-Hall with Leo

Daryl and Amy Dichoso

Richard Ray, Tamara Bonar and Anthony Dowd

Michael and Ivanne Corsi

Deborah and Ernesto Bautista with Asher

Mica Piro and Anna Kaplan

Melanie Cizik, Alex Gonzalez and Reilly Cizik

Edna Meyer-Nelson and Julie Brookshire

Frank Billingsley and Kevin Gillard

Tony and Frances Buzbee

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