LONG HILL TWP., NJ – The busiest spot at Saturday night’s Home For Good Dog Rescue’s fundraiser was the kissing booth! Guests of all ages lined up to pay $1 to be kissed…by a puppy!

This was the ninth year of the “Taste of Italy” spaghetti and meatballs dinner and tricky tray fund-raiser and each year is a bit more fun and the baskets more numerous and grand than the last, if that’s even possible. 

More than 100 prize baskets lined the walls of the Long Hill Community Center and the line to check out each and every basket was long. In one corner of the room, puppies kept volunteers and guests busy as they waited their turn in the kissing booth. After guests checked out the baskets, and placed their tickets in the properly numbered bag, they chose a spot at a table and chatted with friends.

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Not only is the event fun, the money it raises helps the 100-percent foster-based non-profit 501(c)(3) dog rescue established in 2010 in Summit, with offices in Berkeley Heights. The organization rescues homeless dogs from high-kill shelters in the South, which have so many unwanted dogs the dogs are on the brink of being euthanized.

Once rescued, the dogs are socialized, cared for, and, when necessary, provided life-saving medical care at the Home For Good Dog Rescue property in Aiken, S.C. When they are ready, the group brings the dogs to Berkeley Heights, where a network of foster families takes care of them as they wait to be adopted. In the last eight years, the organization has saved nearly 6,000 dogs and puppies from euthanasia.

Dinner this year was sponsored by Meatball Obsession Plus, 41 Halsey St., Newark . The gold-level multi-event sponsor was Westfield Veterinary Group.

Silver-level sponsor was Roy Morance and bronze-level sponsors were Mundi Westport Group, Schechner Lifson Corporation, Laura DeCotiis, Schembre and Gannon, and Smoothie King in Summit.

For more information on how to adopt or foster a dog, visit www.HomeforGoodDogs.org.