Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Arts/Entertainment

April 30, 2009

Food, drink, music and art go to the dogs

Hair of the Dog fundraiser helps Nevins Farm animal shelter

We've all heard of the dog days of summer, but Friday local businesses and artists are offering a night for the dogs.

The 5th annual Hair of the Dog Wine & Beer Tasting, a benefit for the Methuen MSPCA's Nevins Farm, will take place tomorrow, Friday, May 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. Hosted by the Essex Art Center at 56 Island St. in Lawrence, the event comes at a time when three MSPCA animal care and adoption centers in other parts of the state are being closed.

The closures will be coupled with downsizing at the organization, which in 2008 lost over $11 million, more than 25 percent of its endowment. "That loss makes it more important than ever for people to come out and support us this year," said Sheri Helman, who with her husband, Michael, owns Andover's Shawsheen Village Liquors. The Helmans founded the event and donate all the beer and wine for the tasting.

Last year, Hair of the Dog raised more than $8,000 for Nevins Farm. Once again, 100 percent of all ticket proceeds will go directly to it; so will 10 percent of all liquor and art sales. In addition, one of the dog-friendly wineries whose wines are being featured will donate $1 for every bottle of its wine sold at the event.

In all, there will be 50 wines from four continents, and crafts beers from around the country. There will also be appetizers, donated, prepared, and served by Whole Foods Market Andover.

Last year, Whole Foods Market became a sponsor of this popular event, attended by nearly 300 people. This year, in keeping with the MSPCA's statement of belief, it will be featuring an animal-friendly menu. That means any meat served will be from sources independently confirmed to follow minimum standards pertaining to the humane treatment of animals—i.e., "Certified Humane."

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