Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Pinot & Pups - A Perfect Pairing!

Pinot and Pups guest DeniseWine pairings are always such a big deal - but we know what goes well with a good Pinot: Puppies! And plenty of other people agree, as was evidenced by the success of our 2nd Annual Pinot & Pups Wine Gala, held last month in Portland, Oregon. Over its two year history, the event had raised more than $330,000; proceeds from Pinot & Pups directly support veterinary care and the training of our students in the Pacific Northwest.

Check out this link to the Pinot & Pups photo slideshow to see what a fun time it was!

So many people are to thank for the success of this event - the sponsors, the volunteers, the many wineries, businesses and individuals that donated amazing auction items, and of course everyone who came to the party! We got lots of help from puppy raisers far and wide, including clubs in Colorado and Utah who put together some wonderful vacations in their home states. And wineries from throughout Oregon and Washington were more than willing to provide the Pinot and other great wines for the enjoyment of our guests during the reception and dinner, including wines from Chehalem, Elk Cove Vineyards, Eyrie Vineyards, La Bete Wines, ArborBrook Vineyards, Erath Vineyards, Lange Estate Winery and Vineyards and Willamette Valley Vineyards.

In particular though, there are two people that deserve an extra-special shoutout for helping put Pinot & Pups on the map: Mike and Deena Bragg. The Braggs have served as the event's co-chairs since its inception.

Mike serves on GDB's Board of Directors, but Deena is nearly every bit as involvMike and Deena Bragg at Pinot and Pups 2009ed. "We are a two-for-one package deal - when Mike gets involved so do I," she said. "The first time I saw a Guide Dog puppy in training, I was instantly in awe that this pup could grow up to serve as someone’s eyes. I've been hooked ever since."

For Mike, creating an event that celebrated Oregon's world-class Pinot Noir wines while supporting GDB was a no-brainer. "Oenology, or the study of wine, is a hobby of mine," he said, "so blending our two passions together to raise much needed funds for GDB was a natural fit. We are very grateful that the Portland community has embraced this event and Guide Dogs so generously. We are so thankful to be a part of this amazing organization."

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