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Frances Allen’s Desert Roundup — Luncheon Supports Animal-Centric Organizations, PSIFF’s ShortFest Coming

Posted: Tuesday, June 21, 2016 – 11:40 AM

“There are no bad dogs, just bad owners.”

One need look no farther than the 18th annual “Pets On Parade Awards” luncheon at Indian Wells’ Renaissance Esmeralda on July 9 where pets of all breeds and species co-exist with each other and their owners in presenting a fundraiser benefiting two animal-centric organizations: Pegasus Therapeutic Riding and Loving All Animals.

Although it has grown remarkably over the past 30 years, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding is, and will always be, associated with its president and founder, Lori Sarner.

Sarner developed a program of equine therapy whereby handicapped riders–ranging in age from three to 93–can feel the benefits of a horse’s gentle gait while also enhancing their self-esteem. This program, tailored to each rider, began with only a couple of horses and four riders. Today, Pegasus has a stable of more than a dozen therapy horses and some 120 volunteers serving more than 175 active, weekly riders who have been deemed handicapped by the public school system or Social Security.

The mission of Loving All Animals, founded by animal activist Lindi Biggi, is to join with local and national animal welfare organizations to maximize programs intended to stop the killing of adoptable animals. They do this by facilitating the meeting of rescue animals with potential owners and easing the adoption process. One of the ways the organization does this is by its Pets to People transportation program: Mobile Mutts, which brings—n a stretch, white limousine—suitable dogs to interested parties for viewing in their homes.

This year’s luncheon will honor the Palm Springs Animal Shelter, the only municipally supported “no-kill” shelter in Riverside County.

Harold Matzner was also honored for his commitment to rescue animals, whether they are from public shelters or found on the streets.

More information about the Pets On Parade luncheon and Pegasus Therapeutic Riding is at 760-772-3057 and about Loving All Animals 760-834-7000.


Unless you are in the industry or an avid movie-buff, you probably don’t know that the Palm Springs International Film Festival, with all the glitz and celebrity attendees that accompany a major international movie event, has a younger and increasingly well known sibling: the Palm Springs International Short Film Festival & Film Market June 21-27.

This year marks the 22nd anniversary of ShortFest, which has grown into the largest short film festival (and only short film market) in North America. The prizes awarded at the festival are not trophies, but either cash or in-kind items of value to a moviemaker. Last year, ShortFest awarded a value of $115,000 in total cash and prizes.

New to ShortFest this year is a partnership with UC Riverside, offering a curated day of technology-focused content. Thought leaders from all aspects of the industry will engage in conversations ranging from online streaming platforms and video game development to new equipment technologies, and how these tools are used across the medium of film. There will also be a VR demo lounge with three “experiences” as well as drone demos. For information, call 760-778-8979.

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