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Frances Allen’s Desert Roundup –

Lori Sarner

Posted Tuesday, July 22 – 3:03 PM

Pictured: Lori Sarner

It has been said, (sung, actually), that “Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.” The truth of this catchy little verse gets put to the test every July in the Desert as approximately 400 guests (not all English) and their pets (not only dogs, but cats and birds as well) brave triple-digit temperatures to attend the annual mid-summer luncheon gala in support of “Pets on Parade,” held at the pet-friendly Doral Desert Princess Resort in Cathedral City.

Pets on Parade was conceived over 15-years ago by Lori Sarner as a fund-raising partnership to raise money for her beloved Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, (the new name of Pegasus Riding Academy for the Handicapped), which offers no-charge, equine-based therapy to otherwise wheelchair-bound riders and the Humane Society of the Desert, which sponsors the largest ‘no-kill’ animal sanctuary in Southern California.

The idea behind Pets on Parade is simple–it’s all about the animals. Pet photos in eight distinct categories are submitted for anonymous judging and publication in a full-color souvenir journal that is presented to every luncheon guest. Winners, as well as runners up are also acknowledged with a certificate and ribbon.

You never know what you’ll see at a Pets On Parade luncheon. Past entries included an aquarium-based shark and a wounded coyote. This year’s journal featured such rarities as an albino deer and an albino hummingbird.

I’ve attended this event for over a decade and leave each luncheon in awe of the pets in attendance and how well behaved they are. No barking, growling, hissing or other mischievous behaviors. Now, if only we adults can replicate these feats of civility.

More information about Pegasus Therapeutic Riding is available at 760-772-3057 while 760-329-0203 is the number to call for the Humane Society of the Desert.
Helene Galen has become nearly as known for the parties she hosts as for her generosity. Case in point: the pre-Independence Day celebration given by Galen and Jamie Kabler at her Century Woods manse that could double as a very exclusive museum of modern art.

Although Galen also maintains an art-filled home in the Desert, she ushered in the beginning of her summer residency in L.A. with what else?–a party. And of course, knowing it was a Helene Galen produced one, what seemed like half of the Desert’s “A”-list made the journey to Century City to join in the celebration.

Tables were long with side-by-side seating–laid out ranch style and decorated in bunting and all things red, white and blue. Food was hot-dog-and-apple-pie American.

Among the 200-plus guests invited to celebrate this country’s birthday with Galen and partner Kabler were former California Gov. Gray Davis; Shelly (talk about anything but basketball) Sterling; Monty (Let’s Make A Deal) and Marilyn Hall; the incomparable Rhonda Fleming; socialite Diane DeShong; David Webb celebrity jeweler Kevin Parker; TV executive, Gary Pudney; and, the always glamorous Margie Victor.

Party guests were set home with a huge chocolate chip cookie, and for the ladies, a rose. They also went home with memories of another unforgettable Helene Galen party.

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