Harvest Party benefits Humane Society | VailDaily.com

Harvest Party benefits Humane Society

Julie Imada-Howard

The Eagle Valley Humane Society’s Harvest Party provides a chance for people to have a good social time while raising money for the society’s programs. The event is scheduled on Saturday, Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion.

Along with the Eagle County Animal Shelter, the Humane Society provides a host of programs for people and pets, including pet adoption, spay and neutering services, veterinary assistance, volunteer pet foster care, and various pet care classes.

The funds raised by the party help the society fund general operating costs, and educational programs such as its bite prevention program.

“This is our third year of the event and it sells out every year,” said Humane Society Director Char Newman. “The money helps with the animals available for adoption, but also for animal control, bite quarantines, and medical care.”

One of the society’s most popular programs is socialization of shelter animals, in which volunteers spend time petting cats and walking dogs.

“I have been involved now for seven years,” said volunteer and board member Marie Shipley of Singletree. Shipley got involved when she saw a newspaper ad seeking volunteers to help animals at the shelter. Shipley also provides foster care to kittens that can’t feed themselves and need to be bottle fed.

“I just got drawn in. I feel in love with the animals. They really need you,” said Shipley.

Sponsored by local restaurants and Beaver Liquors in Avon, the annual party has been one of the society’s most successful fund-raisers, bringing in $9,000 last year.

In addition to the food and wine, party-goers this year will take in the music of the Dave Laub Quartet, a silent auction, and a raffle. There will be a ski pass, local pet store items, and more items up for grabs at this year’s event.

The event was the idea of Beaver Liquors co-owner David Courtney, who called with an offer to host a party benefiting the Humane Society.

“We have dogs,” said Courtney. “The mountains are a very friendly pet area and we wanted to do something for real locals. The Harvest Party takes the snobbery out of wine.”

Local chefs volunteeer their time and the donate the food to the event. Beaver Liquors provides wine that matches the food.

The highlight of the party is the grape stomping. Courtney brings in grapes and large wine vats donated by Churchill Wine Cellars of Eagle. Party-goers take off their shoes, climb into the vats, and start stomping.

“The following morning we start the fermentation process and last year’s grapes are one of this year’s wines. People get to have a hand or, rather, a foot in the process,” said Courtney.

“It’s an opportunity for people sympathetic to the society to get together and have a good time. Its also a good opportunity to give money to help the animals,” said Shipley.

Tickets go on sale Sept. 2 and are available at the Eagle Valley Humane Society, located at Eagle County Animal Shelter in Eagle, or at Beaver Liquors in Avon. Ticket cost is $40.

For more information or to order tickets, call Beaver Liquors at 949-5040 or the society at 328-PETS or log onto http://www.adoptafriend.org.

This story first appeared in the Eagle Valley Enterprise.

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