It was a Who’s Who of the Coachella Valley, as over 450 guests turned out for a day of fun to celebrate a decade of handsome Dudes, Dogs, and Designer Men’s Fashions.  This year’s 10th Annual “MEN OF THE DESERT” Fashion Show & Charity Luncheon was billed at the most successful to date, benefitting Animal Samaritans, the Valley’s most comprehensive animal welfare organization.  This event commenced with a Champagne Reception and Silent Auction, followed by a scrumptious lunch in the ballroom of the Omni Rancho Las Palmas Resort & Spa.  Following lunch, it was on to the event highlight — the Men’s Fashion Show, featuring 20 handsome Dudes from our community, showcasing fashions from Saks Fifth Avenue, SEAPLANE, and Benjamin Perdereau.   

Iris Smotrich, Mayor of Rancho Mirage, Betty Callies, Exec. Director of Tribal Philanthropy for Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Tom Snyder, CEO of Animal Samaritans, and Bonny Light.

“This year’s event was one of the most successful ever!” stated Tom Snyder, CEO of Animal Samaritans.  “The proceeds will fund our Animal Rescue Program, and allow us to continue our important work of saving adoptable, at-risk dogs and cats.  Our dedicated and highly-trained Veterinarians, who were honored at the luncheon, are truly compassionate about the animals they care for,” Snyder continued. 

The dynamic duo of Lori Serfling and Patrick Mundt once again served as Event Co-chairs, with Honorary Chair Shellie Reade.  Susan Stein of PALM SPRINGS LIFE and SusanSteinStyle, served as Fashion Show and Event Producer, with Patrick Evans, KESQ Chief Meteorologist and Host of “EYE ON THE DESERT” serving as the Live Auction Emcee. 

Dennis Flaig-Moore, one of the Animal Samaritans ‘MEN OF THE DESERT’ models. Dennis is VP/General Manager of Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the stores that provided some of the men’s fashions.

“It was my honor to Co-chair this Animal Samaritans Luncheon with Patrick Mundt,” stated Lori Serfling.  “This year’s program was fabulous, and the models with their handsome hounds  rocked the runway!  All monies raised at this event benefitted Animal Samaritans’ Animal Rescue Program, which has saved more than 14,000 adoptable, at-risk dogs and cats. This is a very worthy cause because it is improving the lives of animals and people,” she continued. 

This year’s Handsome Hounds included Mark Anton, Ted Briggs, Paul Clowers, Dennis Flaig-Moore, Winston Gieseke, Ken Jesser M.D., Jamie Kabler, Garry Kief, Patrik Kocian, Manny The Movie Guy, Keyan Matinpour M.D., Jim Reed, Willie Rhine, William Squire, Patrick St. Pierre M.D., Peter Sturgeon, Richard Vaughn, Chuck Yates, Zack Ziembo, and Leonard Zuckerman.

“We are very lucky to have such an amazing organization like Animal Samaritans in our Valley,” stated Event Co-chair Patrick Mundt.  “We can rest assured that all pets will have access to life-saving medical care, no matter the ability to pay,” he continued.

Shellie Reade, Event Honorary Chair, Harold Matzner, Event Sponsor, G. Aubrey Serfling, President & CEO of Eisenhower Health who was an Event Sponsor, and Jan Salta

Animal Samaritans’ Veterinarians honored at the luncheon included:

Dr. Cynthia Albert, DVM
Dr. Michelle Bousquet, CMO, DVM
Dr. Nancy Carlson, DVM
Dr. Monica Kocian, DVM
Dr. Kevin Leiske, DVM
Dr. Robert Mills, DVM
Dr. Rolland Regnery, DVM 

This year’s Sponsors included Eisenhower Health, Helene Galen & Jamie Kabler, Harold Matzner, Len Betz, Contour Dermatology, Pet Companion Magazine, Mechanics Bank, Isning Gamez Productions, and Jacob Photography.

Exclusive Event Media Sponsors included PALM SPRINGS LIFE, THE DESERT SUN & LOCALiQ, CV 104.3 and KGAY Radio, and KESQ TV.

Steve Maloney, Yvonne Maloney, Diane Rubin, and Lenny Eber.

Seen in the Crowd were Lori & Aubrey Serfling, Harold Matzner & Shellie Reade, Elizabeth Matzner, Jan Salta, Helene Galen & Jamie Kabler, Patti Grundhofer, Luci Arnaz & Bill Luckinbull, Selby & Curt  Dunham, Suzy Leprino, Laura Fritz, Marty & Jeff Massiello, Patrick Mundt, Barry Manilow & Garry Kief, Stacey Renker, Cydney Osterman, Donna MacMillan, Yvonne & Steve Maloney, Michelle Massie, Sue Rapport & David Suss, Bill Nicholson, Renee Glickman, Betty Callies & Bonny Light, Tom & Debbie Davis, Melissa & Tristan Milanovich, Marge Barry, Kay Hanson, Peggy & Michael Berk, Mark Anton & Scott Histed, Sid Craig, Ron Celona, Gary Hall & Jerry Green, Tom Snyder & Lesley Renner, Clinton Moore, James & Lorraine Brinton, Diane Rubin & Lenny Eber, Tory Fretz & Iris Williams, Linda St. Pierre, Mayor Iris & Thom Smotrich, Lindell Campbell & Mohamed Samir. 

Please SAVE THE DATE of Sunday, December 6, 2020 for the 11th Annual “MEN OF THE DESERT” Fashion Show & Charity Luncheon.

About Animal Samaritans

Animal Samaritans promotes compassion and respect for all living creatures, with a primary focus on dogs and cats and the humans who love them.  The organization believes pets are not just animals – they are valued family members, and as such, should be treated with care and respect.  They deserve a chance at life and to live in a loving home.

Founded in 1978 with an urgent goal of helping to find a solution to the epidemic of shelter overcrowding and the unnecessary euthanasia of adoptable animals, Animal Samaritans offers worthwhile, critical programs and services for the Coachella Valley’s pets and pet owners.

“We believe it is our duty to reduce the overpopulation and suffering of abandoned and unwanted dogs and cats,” stated Tom Snyder, CEO of Animal Samaritans.  “We believe adoptable, homeless dogs and cats deserve a chance at life and to live in a loving home.  We support this through animal rescuing, animal sheltering, and pet adoptions.  We believe the bond between people and pets is healing, both emotionally and physically, and we provide canine companionship to residents of local nursing homes, rehab centers, and area hospitals.  We believe stewardship of our animals is not innate, but learned, and we educate the pet owners of tomorrow on kindness and respect for all living creatures, so they too will become compassionate and responsible pet owners.  To achieve our work, we operate two high-quality Veterinary Clinics, a no-kill Animal Shelter, an Adoption Center, an Animal Rescue Program, an Animal Companion Therapy Program, and a bi-lingual Humane Education Program,” Snyder continued.

For information on how you can support Animal Samaritans please call 760- 601-3755 or visit    Animal Samaritans is a 501(3) nonprofit. 


PHOTO CREDITS: Lani Garfield.