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Guests get “Footloose” at annual fundraiser

Castle Pines Village residents Fred and Jana Bartlit are pictured with this year’s entertainers Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald.  The Lulu’s Barkin’ BBQ fundraiser is held at the Bartlit’s lovely home each year and benefits the Dumb Friends League.  This year the event raised nearly $800,000 and succeeded in finding new homes for ten lucky dogs.

By Amy Shanahan; photos by Lynn Zahorik

Animal lovers from all over the Denver and Castle Pines area congregate each year at the beautiful Castle Pines Village (CPV) home of Jana and Fred Bartlit for their annual Lulu’s Barkin’ BBQ.  In its fourteenth year, the fundraiser benefits the programs and services offered to homeless animals at the Dumb Friends League (DFL) Buddy Center and the DFL Harmony Equine Center.  

Lulu’s BBQ is much more than a fundraiser; it is truly an event.  This year it took place on August 15, and brought together a sold out crowd of 580 guests.  The evening began with drinks and appetizers and opportunities for guests to immediately adopt dogs and horses in need of new homes.  A silent auction and live auction were also held, which contributed to the nearly $800,000 raised during the event.  A delicious Texas-style barbecue of beef tenderloin, fried catfish and all the sides was prepared by Perini Ranch Steakhouse, whose owners and staff came all the way from Buffalo Gap, Texas to prepare their famous food.

The highlight of the evening was a concert performance by Kenny Loggins and Michael McDonald who played for an hour and a half and brought the house down with their combined hits.  Attendees danced and partied until the very end when the entire crowd joined in with Loggins to “Footloose” and “Danger Zone”.

CPV residents John and Margaret Kelly, Steve and Larissa Herda, and
Taylor Herda and Ali Mahowald enjoyed a table together at the event. 
The Herdas have supported the event for the past ten years because “it
fills all of our buckets!” 

CPV residents Liz and Brian Van Vechten attend the event every year and always look forward to inviting new friends to learn about the amazing work of the DFL.  Liz remarked, “Brian is a veterinary surgeon so our family has a tremendous love for animals.  All of our animals are rescue, and I adopted a dog for my mom at this event two years ago.  The Bartlits do an amazing job and all of the donations go directly to the animals in need.”  CPV residents Brian and Mayme McDonald attended for the first time this year and had a blast.  “Our family loves animals.  We are looking to add a family member to our dog, cat and bearded dragon,” explained Brian.

Lulu’s Barkin’ BBQ manages to provide an amazing party in support of an amazing cause.  This year, the event raised nearly $800,000 which was donated directly to the DFL to support their services.  Additionally, ten dogs were adopted throughout the course of the evening.  DFL public relations manager Megan Rees remarked, “We are truly grateful for the generous support of our guests who helped make the event a huge success for the animals.”  

To learn more about the Dumb Friends League, visit  To view a slideshow of the event, visit “Photo Albums.”

Taylor Herda and Ali Mahowald went home that evening with a new dog to add to their family.



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