Event Info_2

Fur Ball Event Chairs
Rusty & Martha Smith

Rusty Smith was born in Kansas City, Kansas but now lives with his wife Martha in Leawood. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) as well as a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration. He also graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law with a JD. Rusty spent his entire career in the Private Wealth Management industry – 29 years at Bank of America – US Trust and six years at UMB Bank. In December of 2018, he was inducted into the Estate Planning Society of Kansas City Hall of Fame. He volunteered at the American Heart Association (Kansas City) from 1985 to 1991 and served on their board – including one term as Board Chairman. In the early 1990s Rusty got involved with The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Mid-America Chapter and served on their board beginning in 1995. He served as Chairman of the Board for one term, and was very active in their Team in Training program. In 2017 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award for his long-standing service to the organization. In 2017 Rusty and his wife, Martha, were recognized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals Mid-American Chapter with the “Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers” award. Rusty has been on the Board of Directors at Wayside Waifs since 2016 and completed a two-year term as Chairman in 2023. He also volunteers his time by walking dogs at the shelter every week. In 2019, Rusty and Martha served as Co-Chairs of Wayside Waifs Fur Ball, “Woof 66”. He loves animals because of the unconditional love they provide. When he was young and had moved to a new neighborhood, he’d sit in the backyard with his arm around his black spaniel mix. He’d say the dog “was my best and only friend in the world.”

Martha Carpenter Smith was born in Brookfield, Missouri. She grew up outside Sumner, MO and has lived in KC since 1974, but now resides with her husband Rusty in Leawood. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1974 with a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Business Administration. For the majority of her 44 year career, Martha was with Bank of America and predecessor KC banks as a Senior Vice President/Relationship Manager of Commercial Banking. During her tenure there she specialized in providing corporate services to the Food, Agribusiness, Commodity industry sectors. In between two stints with Bank of America, she served as the Chief Financial Officer of Church of the Resurrection-United Methodist (Resurrection), Leawood, KS for close to 5 years. In addition to formerly being CFO of Resurrection, she also volunteers there as Advisory Board Member of the Wesley Foundation and as a Connection and Care Minister. She and Rusty have been members of Resurrection for over 25 years. Also, Martha is on the corporate board of directors for two prior clients, JDHeiskell LLC and Cobalt Cattle Company as well as a board member of the Nettleton Foundation. In 2019, Martha and Rusty served as Co-Chairs of Wayside Waifs Fur Ball, “Woof 66”. Currently Martha is a member of Wayside’s Purr Gamma Bark Sorority. Martha has always had a fondness for animals, particularly dogs.


We encourage guests to dress in theme! This year’s theme is Bark and Roll! About 75% of Fur Ball guests dress in theme. Feel free to get creative with a full costume or go casual with polo shirt or dress, or pull out your snazzy attire, swanky suit or dancing dress!

Don’t be afraid to bring out the razzle dazzle – remember this event is all about having fun! If you don’t want to dress in theme, that’s purr-fectly okay, you are welcome to come in slacks or a summer dress.


5:30 – 7:30 pm
Social Hour & Silent Auction Bidding

7:30 pm

8:15 pm
Special Presentation & Live Auction

9:15 pm
Fur Ball After Paw-ty


Coming Soon 

A Special Thank You!

Thank you to our Fur Ball event PAW-tners!

It takes a tremendous team to throw this paw-ty and our Fur Ball Vendors make us look good – while keeping expenses to only 9.5% – that means money raised goes to helping homeless animals. Thank you to these Vendors who provide discounted services and/or pro bono services to make Fur Ball look and run fabulous – while coming in under budget: 


George Nigro

Guy Guinta

Jack Pullan

JNA Advertising

Landers’ Visions, LLC

Overland Park Convention Center


Q: When is 2024 Fur Ball?  
A: Fur Ball is scheduled for Saturday, May 11, 2024 at the Overland “Bark” Convention Center.
Q: How do I become a sponsor?
A: View Fur Ball sponsorship levels and benefits here.
Q: Do you have an e-vite? 
A: Yes! View it here!
Q: I can’t attend, can I still make a donation?
A: Yes, of course! Please make your donation here. Thank you!
Q: Is the event open bar? 
A: Of course it is! Please drink responsibly.
Q: How do I donate an auction item?
A: We are looking for unique, high valued items to feature in our silent auction. For more information or to donate, please contact Paige Cooper at pcooper@waysidewaifs.org, 816-986-4409 or visit our Auction page.
Q: Do you have directions to the venue? 
A: Yes, you can find directions here. Overland Park Convention Center is located at 6000 College Blvd., Overland Park, Kansas 66211
Q: Do you need volunteers for the night of Fur Ball?
A: Yes, we will need volunteers! Please contact Morgan Edmiston to discuss options at medmiston@waysidewaifs.org.
Q: How much of my ticket is tax-deductible?  
A: Fair market value is $90 per person.