Struttin' their stuff for a good cause

Animalkind, Inc

Struttin' their stuff for a good cause

By Tom Casey, Hudson-Catskill Newspapers
February 20, 2012

HUDSON — Animal lovers and companions to our four-legged friends attempted their best fashion week impressions as they strutted their stuff to raise money for charity Sunday.

Project Catwalk is an annual show put on by the feline rescue and shelter organization Animalkind. The event, which took place at Club Helsinki, mixes a fashion show with a live auction, with the proceeds going to benefit the nonprofit.

“It’s very comprehensive, and can be quite a bit of work but it is so much fun,” said Animalkind founder Katrin Hecker. “It brings everyone together; It doesn’t feel like a job.”

All the designer apparel worn during the show is donated from individuals and local retailers like Dogs of Hudson, The Dakota, and ReWraps. All the models and staff also volunteer their time to help. Avy Berry and her daughter Lisa both pitched in to help after a visit to the shelter last weekend.

“We walked in with an injured cat to Animalkind and she asked my daughter and myself if we would come and help out,” said Avy. “We said of course, anything we can do to help it’s a great cause.”

Lisa modeled several dresses during the event, which at times turned into a raucous bidding war. Attendees threw their bidding numbers into the air as the rest of the crowd cheered on both the donations and the models throughout the night with some bids as high as $300.

The show was MC’d by Musty Chiffon and Jenny Baldwin, who not only introduced the models but performed musical numbers between the rounds of auctions. According to Hecker, everyone involved volunteered, including the venue.

“Everything is volunteered even the space was rented out for free, it’s all volunteers,” said Hecker. “That is what makes the event so touching is that people really believe in it.”

Animalkind helps to rescue and care for Hudson’s cats that without a home. While the final total for the evenings is still being counted, Heckler said the money from the donations will help to care for the shelters 130 cats, as well as fund programs for medical care and the spaying and neutering of pets for low income households.

Throughout the audience were some of the city’s top officials, from members of the Common Council to the Board of Supervisors as well as business owners and organizational heads. To Heckler, she said she was touched by how the community came together in support of her organization.

“I would really like to thank the community for their support, it is always very touching to me how I see everyone come together how supportive everyone is to the cause we are representing,” Heckler said. “It’s touching to me to live in a town and a community that recognizes the needs of what we do and also offers the support to be there for us I think it makes it a great community.”

To reach reporter Tom Casey, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2266, or email

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