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Lily & Co. jewelers to celebrate mascot’s birthday

By Staff | Apr 23, 2009

What started out as a way to bring people and their pets together and celebrate a local island mascot’s birthday has turned into an annual gala and animal shelter benefit.

Lily & Co. Jewelers co-owners Dan Schuyler and Karen Bell are getting ready to have their parking lot turned into a swanky setting for Bell’s Labradoodle Lily’s birthday party.

Last year the island jewelers raised more than $4,000 from Lily’s birthday and donated it to the North Fort Myers Animal Refuge Center. In its inaugural year, the event raised $450. Last year the benefit not only raised more money but brought in a pack of dogs. Schuyler said he stopped counting at 125.

“This year we want to break all records,” said Schuyler.

The furry mascot is turning five-year-old. Aside from being Bell’s charming pooch, Lily also works as a greeter at the jewelry store. The Australian-born Lily is the namesake behind the couture jewelry company.

The birthday dog’s party will be from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 2.

During the open house, pooches will enjoy spring water and gourmet dog biscuits from Island Paws. Additional refreshments will be provided for their two-legged friends by Bailey’s General Store.

“We are excited to continue our annual celebration in honor of Lily,” said Lily’s mom, Bell. “The dogs and their owners just love to come in and dazzle each other with their festive costumes. And they always enjoy the doggie friendly ‘pup’cake we serve.”

Schuyler has another surprise for the party. He will be raffling off his 1993 Lincoln town car during the event. He let the cat out of the bag last week that he decided to donate his car to benefit other dogs.

His wife just received a new car for her birthday so Schuyler decided to take her old car and donate his. Dubbed a Car for a Cause, Schuyler will give the proceeds of the raffle to the North Fort Myers Animal Refuge Center.

Parting with the car does not come easy.

“It’s got a lot of sentimental value,” he said. “That car has been a savior for me.”

Schuyler got the white car in 2005 when he needed to save money when Lily’s opened. He sold his pricier truck and bought the Lincoln to go to work with. He chose the car because its low to the ground and easy access for his dogs Gracie and Angel who travel to work with him every day. The yellow labs are greeters with Lily.

“That car was great,” he said. “Everybody around town know’s my car.”

A raffle table will be filled with items such as a basket of goodies from Island Paws valued at $500, an item of diamond doggie jewelry valued at $800, and Schuyler’s 1993 Lincoln Town Car valued at $2,875. All proceeds will be donated to the Animal Refuge Center. Tickets are available in advance at Island Paws and Lily & Co. for $1 each or six for $5. You don’t need to be present to win.

Dogs are encouraged to wear costumes, with prizes awarded for the crowd favorites. Caricatures will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis for a donation to Animal Refuge Center, a non-profit organization in North Fort Myers dedicated to caring for unwanted and neglected dogs and cats.

Lily & Co is Sanibel’s first “jewelry gallery,” featuring world-class designers James Breski, Marya Dabrowski, Precision Set, Martin Flyer, Nanis, Henderson Design, Gurhan, Charles Krypell and Magick. Plus, one-of-a-kind pearls from Royal Pearl, certified diamonds and a dazzling selection of gold, silver, gems and fine watches. It also carries unique artistic creations from Franz Porcelain, Lynda McHugh, Mariposa, McDermott Glass, Rob Pailes and Sandy Moran. And it Positively Precious Program offers customers the opportunity to sell previously worn jewelry and stones, and fine stemware for liquidation purposes.

Lily & Co. Jewelers is located at 520 Tarpon Bay Road, next to Bailey’s. Lily the Labradoodle and her two canine friends, yellow Labradors Gracie and Angel, regularly greet guests to the store. For more information, call Lily & Co. co-owners Karen Bell or Dan Schuyler at 472-2888.

(Press reports contributed to this story).