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Last Chance Animal Rescue Honors Mayor Mark Epley And Family

Originally Posted: January 30, 2012


Chris Epley, Marissa Epley, Marianne Epley, LCAR Founder Whitney Knowlton and Mayor Mark Epley at The Coast Grill for the second annual Brunch for Bitches benefit honoring the Epley family. (Joe Strand)

Southampton - On Saturday, January 28, 2012, Last Chance Animal Rescue (LCAR) held their second "Brunch For Bitches" benefit at The Coast Grill in Southampton.

This year, Southampton Village Mayor Mark Epley and his family, including wife Marianne, daughter Marissa, and sonsChris, Nick and Zach, were honored for their continued commitment to animal rescue and adoption programs.

Table centerpiece. (Joe Strand)

LCAR is a 501(c)(3) charitiable organization, founded in 2008. Their "Mission and primary focus is to rescue animals that are located in 'KILL' facilities trapped on death row in rural southern shelters that use inhumane methods of killing such as gas chambers or heart sticks."

Founded by Whitney Knowlton, LCAR has rescued and saved countless dogs (and cats), and placed them in 'forever homes.' Volunteers travel to the southern states to rescue the animals based on two factors - available funds and available foster homes. When animals are brought to the East End they are placed in foster homes after being quarantined and treated for illnesses, vaccinated, worming, spayed and/or neutered, and lots and lots of love and attention. It is always hopeful that each animal will be adopted as soon as possible so that resources will be available for the next rescue.

Mayor Epley revealed, "Today's honor is really about focusing on my wife and daughter who have made tremendous commitments to this organization, and are deeply involved, as both volunteers and advocates."

Marissa Epley, a senior at Southampton High School, is working with LCAR for her senior project. She explained, "I work as an intern and have to complete 15 hours over the course of the school year. In order to use this as my senior project I had to write a 10-page research paper, and as Whitney [Knowlton] and my mother are really good friends, I was so happy to be able to work with LCAR.

Jenny Steigerwaid, Julia Rogers, Patty Dempsey and artist Carol Saxe Buda enjoy the day. (Joe Strand)


The whole Epley family expressed their involvement with rescuing and promoting adoption, as Mayor Epley relayed, "We adopted our dog 'Sami' about three years ago. She is half Border Collie and half Springer Spaniel, and we just love her."

The unseasonably warm afternoon featured live music by Satchel Boogie, tasty brunch delights from The Coast Grill, and a Silent Auction with a myriad of fabulous items, including a football shirt signed by New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, which kept the men in attendance hovering around the bidding table. There were plenty of items for everyone, including spa, salon, jewelry, clothing, dinners, wines, and gift certificates. The raffle included a chance to win seven nights Villa-Style Suite Accommodations from The Verandah Resort & Spa in Antigua.

TJ Sweatt, Allison Sweatt, Jude Langmaid, Whitney Knowlton and Georgia Malone. (Eileen Casey)


Knowlton stated "The 2012 team is a great team, and has allowed us to focus on fund raising and marketing, which is where we need to keep our efforts in order to keep this organization viable and successful. The adoption program is still in effect, and we have new folks involved who really know how to get the word out and to draw even more attention to what we do. We are also networking with other organizations to transfer animals into their adoption programs - which is just great for the animals as that increases their chances of being adopted."

Allison Sweatt, Animal and Rescue Coordinator of the Richmond Shelter in Rockingham, North Carolina, along with her husband, TJ Sweatt, who drives the rescued dogs to the East End, made the nine hour trip just to show their support and commitment to the efforts of LCAR.

Artist Carol Saxe Buda was on hand explaining, "Hampton Dogs" - a book that for a fee of $320 - allows owners the opportunity to have their four-legged pooch professionally photographed at a Hamptons location, inclusion in the hard cover book, a copy of the book to own, and - of course - gloating rights, has arranged that a portion of the sale of each "Hampton Dogs" book will be distributed among local animal shelters.

The Coast Grill was filled with guests who wanted to show their respect and thanks to not only the Epley Family, but also their support for the tremendous work LCAR does.

For more information on LCAR and upcoming events, including the Second Annual Rock For Rescue, and the First Annual Dog Bowlathon and No Kill 5K Run, as well as adoption events, click below.

In anticipation of the upcoming Super Bowl, a signed Eli Manning football jersey kept the gentlemen carefully eyeing the bidding list. (Joe Strand)


For more information, click here.




Eileen Casey spent many years working in the television and music industries in New York City on the "ABC In Concert" weekly series, as well as several prime time network and cable television specials. An award-winning journalist, editor, and artist, and former Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com, she enjoys staying warm in Charleston and cool in the Hamptons.


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