Hilty, the owner of two Jack Russell terriers, said she is always willing to help other furry creatures.
“This is the kind of event I live for,” she said, referring to the 750 guests and the 350 doggie dates filling the ballroom who helped raise a record $500,000 for the Washington Humane Society.
Management consultant James Hargrave had his Labradoodle, Axl, “who’s never been around a spectacle like this.”
The four-legged companions, many in black-tie collars and pearl chokers, frolicked in the VIP reception sponsored by Airlines for America where special dog-edible cupcakes were served before the humans sat for a vegetarian meal.
A few canines crawled under the tables, some sat on laps, but most were content to stand at attention just in case a scrap fell their way.
Water bowls were scattered throughout the ballroom.
Lisa LaFontaine, the president and chief executive officer of the Washington Humane Society, color-coordinated her purple dress and nail polish to match the purple bow worn by her “grand-dog,” Lila.
LaFontaine introduced Adopt Force One, a new mobile animal shelter that will go to company picnics, community centers and neighborhoods to encourage animal adoption and dispel myths about shelter dogs.
She explained it will be “a fun, celebratory vehicle” that will “make people smile” like an ice-cream truck.
Yoriko Fujisaki, wife of Japanese Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, showed off her new tattoo to Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and his wife, Jane.
Fujisaki and Chief of Protocol Capricia Marshall got henna tattoos in an exotic lantern-lit tent at the Opera Ball Saturday night hosted by the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates for the Kennedy Center’s Washington National Opera.
Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba explained he ceded control of the event to his wife, Abeer. “She knows what she wants.”
Michael Kaiser, the president of the Kennedy Center, said he thought the embassy’s use of indoor and outdoor features, like a 20-foot water wall, gazebos and Arab pergolas, made this year’s party special for him.
David Rubenstein, the co-founder of the Carlyle (CG) Group and Kennedy Center chairman, and Mexican Ambassador Arturo Sarukhan took home goody bags from the candy bar provided by Jacqueline Mars of Mars Inc.
The evening, which began with small dinner parties hosted at ambassadorial residences, raised more than $1 million for the Washington National Opera.
(Stephanie Green is a writer and photographer for Muse, the arts and leisure section of Bloomberg News. Any opinions expressed are her own.)
To contact the writer on this story: Stephanie Green in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @stephlgreen.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Jeffrey Burke at Jburke21@bloomberg.net.