10 Year Anniversary Hair of the Dog Wine Tasting & Art Show

Posted by on Apr 1, 2014 in Newsletters, Wine Blog | 0 comments

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This Year “Hair of the Dog” Pays Tribute to the Event Founders’ Late, Great Jake

Methuen — He was just an abandoned, undernourished mixed-breed pup sitting in an outdoor cage. His name was Jake. And there he was one November day nearly two decades ago when Michael and Sheri Helman happened to visit the MSPCA at Nevins Farm. They had taken Michael’s daughters there to help them overcome their fear of dogs. “We were just there for a visit”, recalls Sheri. “But while the kids were playing with an old German shepherd, I started playing with a young dog named Jake.”

When they went to leave, Jake broke away from a shelter volunteer and jumped into the Helmans’ car. Jake’s not so subtle message was received and two days later he was adopted by the Helmans. Looking for a way to repay the MSPCA for connecting them with Jake, the Helmans founded what has become the annual fundraiser, Hair of the Dog.

Although Hair of the Dog began as a wine tasting in Andover in 2005, it hit its stride in the second year, when an art show was added to the evening. “That was a big turning point,” said Sheri, who contacted local artists Diane Grieco and Karen Herman to recruit painters, jewelry makers, potters, sculptors, textile artists, and others to exhibit their works, with 10% of sales going to Nevins Farm.

The wine and art show, will take place this year on Friday, May 2, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, with proceeds going as usual to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm. Over 50 wines will be offered for tasting as well as beer, courtesy of the Clown Shoes Beer. The food will be supplied by Whole Foods Market. “People will also be able to buy a full glass of wine or beer to have with their food, before or after they go to the tasting,” Sheri said.

Those who plan to attend are urged to buy tickets early. That’s because, for the first time, there will be only a limited number sold. “We’re capping it, to keep things manageable and more fun for all involved,” said Sheri.

The MSPCA at Nevins Farm itself has grown in many ways. When the Helmans got Jake in 1998, the place was, as Sheri described it, “just a broken down old house.” Today it cares for nearly 7,000 animals each year – all without government funding. That’s why fundraising events such as this one are so important, Sheri explained.

“The ‘Angels for Animals Fund’ pays for medical care of animals in need before they’ve been adopted,” said Sheri. “Almost every animal that is surrendered to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm is in need of some type of medical care. Some may only need basic vaccines or routine surgery, while others may be suffering serious injury or living with undiagnosed and treated illnesses. This fund was started because it became necessary to help those animals most in need of care and support”. At this year’s event, we will be displaying beautiful images of the animals that have received care through Angels for Animals Fund. They were taken by Kaylee Greer of Dog Breath Photography. Despite her growing renown, the Boston-based artist still volunteers to take photos of adoptable animals at Nevins Farm.

In years gone by, Jake could always be found in the office at Shawsheen Village Liquors. He was considered the unofficial mascot for Hair of the Dog. In 2013, at age 15 1/2, he passed away. He is missed by his many fans, but he will never be forgotten thanks to all the money raised for the MSPCA at Nevins Farm.

Come meet the artists and the Helmans (but not their new dog, Hannah — she won’t be there — and don’t bring your pets, either, please). Have some food, a little wine and beer, and spend time with friends, while you contribute to a great cause: making a difference in the lives of animals.

The cost of admission will be $35 in advance or $45 at the door. Tickets can be bought at Shawsheen Village Liquors, 4 Poor Street, Andover, (978) 475-3636; at the MSPCA, Nevins Farm, 400 Broadway (Route 28), Methuen, (978) 687-7453; or online at MSPCA/Hair of the Dog. One hundred percent of all ticket, raffle and bar proceeds go directly to the MSPCA at Nevins Farm. Ten percent of all wine and art sales will also be donated to the shelter.

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