More than 300 animal advocates, supporters and adopters attended the Fur Ball, the annual fundraising party for the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, in the ball’s first year off-peninsula at the Woodlands Club in Falmouth.

“I’m happily amazed at the turnout today,” said board President Kevin Mahoney. “It’s definitely the biggest Fur Ball we’ve ever had.”

The event raised $70,000 for the Animal Refuge League, which is opening its new Arthur P. Girard Adoption Center in October.

“As a community, you empower us and you motivate us,” said Patsy Murphy, the league’s executive director.

“We trust the Animal Refuge League; the money goes where it’s supposed to,” said Delia McGowan of Portland, who has provided foster care for rabbits.

The Fur Ball reunited news duo Jackie Ward and meteorologist Tom Johnston as emcees and brought back The Jim Ciampi Band, international food and one-of-a-kind animal-themed cupcakes.

The Raise the Paddle portion of the evening raised $6,500 for the Cassandra L. Carson Medical Fund for animals requiring life-saving advanced surgeries and diagnostics.

“These kinds of events allow us to provide the care we do,” said kennel manager Kathleen Fobear. “There’s a lot of people here tonight. It’s seriously amazing.”

“I see the animals they take in, even from out of state, and it’s something good to be part of,” said Colleen Young, manager of Fish & Bone, one of the sponsors.

“We’re growing every year,” said Ann Eagan, who runs the foster program. “But it’s expensive to care for over 4,000 animals a year.”

“It’s so important to me to see that every animal finds a loving home,” said volunteer Tric Gardner of Casco.

“I love animals more than anything, and if I’m going to volunteer it’s going to be for the animals,” said Cait Bourgault of Portland, taking photos for the league.

“We have two rescue dogs, and they rescued me,” said Ken Stafford of Cumberland Foreside. “We love all animals,” Sarah Stafford added. “We’re vegans.”

Amy Paradysz is a freelance writer and photographer (and adoptive cat mom) from Scarborough. She can be reached at:

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