Fundraiser benefits local animal shelter

New Leaf Market Co-Op puts on a benefit that assists a local charity or non-profit organization every year.

The store featured the Animal Shelter Foundation as its charity of choice this year.

New Leaf Market featured an evening of fine wine and cheese on Saturday. The sold-out event had five wine stations, three food stations and an area of sold goods to profit the Animal Shelter Foundation, according to Kristen Burns, New Leaf’s marketing manager.

“When people come in, they’re given a glass, which will allow them to taste the various wines, as well as a promo coupon, which gives them a discount on goods purchased at the store,” Burns said.

Burns said the 120 tickets printed for the event were sold out early Thursday.

At the wine stations, patrons were able to try as many different wines as they liked while receiving background information on the liquors, if requested.

Opici Family Distribution was one distributor that participated in this year’s event. Ann Mazzanovich, who represented the company, said Opici enjoys being on board every year.

“Our company donates some bottles of wine for the tasting,” Mazzanovich said. “When patrons come to sample, they also have the opportunity to purchase bottles at a discounted price. It’s a great cause and beneficial to everyone participating.”

Patrons were also given a percentage off a purchased case of wine. The proceeds from the event directly benefitted the local animal shelter through the foundation.

Last year alone, close to 10,000 animals cycled through the animal shelter, according the foundation’s president, Michael Davino.

“We only bring in about $100,000,” Davino said. “And I say ‘only’ because considering what we do with the money, it is not a lot.”

While this fundraiser is not a staple, the foundation puts on other events annually to raise funds. Two of those annual events are Tails for Trails, a 5K run, and Pints for Paws, a homebrew festival.

The Animal Shelter Foundation is a private non-profit that was established five years ago. It works hand in hand with the animal shelter, which is operated by the city. The foundation spreads its message through the use of newsletters, social media and events such as the wine and cheese benefit.

The proceeds will be used for a range of needs from dog toys to leashes and collars.