Ben’s Cruise Helps Animals, Rain or Shine!

Posted by William Rivas-Rivas, ALDF Development Director on September 22, 2011

No one can deny that this year’s Little Ben’s Cruise for Compassion started with a bang–well, a bang followed up with strong winds and buckets and buckets of rain. Catch a glimpse of the evening’s festivities in this video produced by Red Leash Photography:


Despite the storm, the fifth annual Ben’s Cruise, hosted by Michelle and Larry Kownacki from Paws pet boutique and organized by numerous volunteers, was a great success.

ALDF's Carter Dillard, William Rivas-Rivas and Sarah Luick with
ALDF’s Carter Dillard, William Rivas-Rivas and Sarah Luick
with Michelle and Larry Kownacki, holding Ben and Davis.

Safely docked in Annapolis so as to avoid the fate of the S.S. Minnow, Ben, the little Jack Russell and cruise’s namesake, was determined to not let Mother Nature ruin his night.

Ben proudly led the 150 two-legged guests and about 50 four-legged canine guests aboard the Watermark’s Harbor Queen in a fun-filled evening of live music by the Dan Haas Trio Band, generous raffle prizes including the grand prize of two Southwest Airlines round-trip tickets and delicious finger foods donated by Whole Foods. There were also lots of great silent auction prizes donated by local-area businesses and of course, scrumptious dog cake.

After all, Ben’s Cruise for Compassion is always a very special evening as it celebrates Ben’s freedom while raising much-needed funds for ALDF.

Ben enjoys a taste of his doggie cake.
Ben enjoys a taste of his special dog cake.

Ben endured a lifetime of suffering in horrific conditions on the property of Barbara and Robert Woodley until ALDF sued the Woodleys in a groundbreaking lawsuit and won freedom for Ben and more than 325 dogs living in the worst conditions imaginable.

“Looking into Ben’s innocent eyes makes it easy to support ALDF,” says Ben’s mom, Michelle. “He is just one of so many animals that has benefited from ALDF’s hard work to advance the interests of animals through the legal system. ALDF is fighting for animals’ right to live a life without abuse or neglect–a cause we should all support.”

Ben’s Cruise raised $10,000 for the Animal Legal Defense Fund! And for the second straight year, Nancy Squires and The Squires Group generously matched the $10,000 raised that night for a total of $20,000!

Me and Ben
Me and Ben

ALDF sends a huge thank you to Michelle, Larry, Nancy, Madeline, and all of the volunteers and attendees who made Ben’s Cruise for Compassion a great success! And many thanks to Red Leash Photography for capturing the night’s memories.

Did I mention there was lots of dancing?

Photos courtesy of Red Leash Photography.

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4 thoughts on “Ben’s Cruise Helps Animals, Rain or Shine!

  1. Terri Miller says:

    IT’S ABOUT TIME THESES ANIMALS HAD RIGHTS, TO PROTECT THEM IN EVERY WAY, THAT COUNTS. THERE IS NO SENSE IN HURTING INNOCENT ANIMALS FOR NO REASON. THEY DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH RESPECT AND LOVE.
    Sincerely Yours,
    Terri Miller

  2. Garth Luxton says:

    The rest of the world can learn from this initiative!! I for one will be emailing this far and wide.

    Keep up the great work which you are obviously doing, and the fine example which you are obviously setting.

    Best regards

  3. KATHY GAINARD says:

    THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL.AND HEARTWAEMING STORY FOR A CHANGE, IT MAKES MY HEART SING FOR JOY!!!! I READ ABOUT SO MANY HORRIFIC ABUSES ANIMALS GO THROUGH EVERY DAY FROM SO CALLED HUMAN BEINGS!!! THANKS TO ALL OF YOU!! BLESS YOU FOR THE WORK YOU DO FOR THE ANIMALS!!! KATHY GAINARD

  4. regina tague says:

    what a wonderful thing you are doing. i live on social security and support seven rescues,
    or i’d send you every dime i’ve got. please
    keep up the terrific work you do. My Tyler is
    a Jack Russell rescue and the light of my life.

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