Food, frolic and funds for our furry friends |

Food, frolic and funds for our furry friends

Cassie Pence
Preston Utley/Vail Daily Party goers at the Humane Society fundraising event test thier luck at the ring toss Saturday night at the Eagle-Vail pavillion.

I love walking into a party and knowing everyone there. I didn’t know the names of the people celebrating at the Harvest Party Saturday night at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion, but I did recognize all the faces. The Harvest Party is a great place to acquaint yourself with the people in your neighborhood, because the 300 people that attended the Eagle Valley Humane Society fund-raiser were mostly locals – the liquor store guy, the art gallery director, the county commissioner, the newspaper publisher, the cafe owner, the restaurant manager, the bartender and even the guitarist from the valley’s favorite Grateful Dead spirit band.The silent auction, raffle and ring toss raised $10,000 for the Humane Society. That’s not including ticket sales, which will be tabulated after expenses are considered.

“Considering we made $10,000 total last year, the event was very successful,” Char Quinn said, director of the Humane Society.The grape stomping took a back seat to the ring toss, a game where attendees pay at the chance to hoop a wine bottle with a plastic ring. Whatever wine they snagged, they took home with them.”Everybody liked the ring toss, which is great because we make money off of that one,” Quinn said.Party-goers floated about the pavilion tasting wine and sampling local restaurants’ fare. Thirteen restaurants and caters created a dish, and David Courtney, part-owner of Beaver Liquors in Avon, paired a wine with each.

“All the restaurants donated the food. We don’t pay a dime for it,” Quinn said.Chef Charles Hays and manager Colin of Toscanini in Beaver Creek were serving up the Italian restaurant’s signature penne with house-made sausage, spinach and tomato sauce with fresh parmesan. 2002 Santa Anastasia Nero d’Avola was paired with the pasta. Cucina Rustica’s banquet chef Jane Russell cooked up a delicious spiced squash and apple soup with maple creme and served it with mini pumpkin muffins – the best I’ve ever tasted. The Eola Hills pinot gris complimented the soup with its sweetness.”This party gives banquet chefs a time to shine,” Russell said.

Avon Bakery and Deli had a center table filled with assorted cheeses, breads and antipasta. New to the dining scene Bill Fischer of Silver City Smoked Salmon offered three different breeds of wild smoked salmon. The marinated sockeye salmon was lean and full of flavor.The vendor creating the most excitement was The Gourmet Cowboy catering company with its continuously flowing Belgian chocolate fountain. Reminiscent of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” attendees chose from strawberries, bananas, biscotti, pears and more, and held the fruit under the waterfall of chocolate. The vendor went through 35 pounds of chocolate.”It’s not that good,” Doug Cogswell said in jest as he bit into a chocolate-smothered strawberry. “I’ll have to try it three of four more times because I’m not quite sure if I like the chocolate.”The Gourmet Cowboy chef Tom McNeill said he has sold the fountain as a wedding cake.

“The bride and groom were feeding each other the chocolate-dipped strawberries,” McNeill said. The Harvest Party will be moved to Donovan Pavilion in West Vail next year to save on costs. Each year the Humane Society has to pay to expand the Eagle-Vail Pavilion with an event tent on the outside deck. The Humane Society’s Martini Ball is Nov. 6; tickets will go on sale in the next couple of weeks. For more information, contact the Humane Society at 328-PETS.Arts and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at (970) 949-0555, ext. 618, or cpence@vaildaily.comVail Colorado

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