Casually posh wine bar. Beautifully rare music. Overwhelmingly adorable canines.
The three phrases above help describe one perfectly fabulous way to spend a lazy Saturday (or to recover from a busy one) at House Wine cuddled up with a cute, furry companion.
On Saturday, September 15, Hard Luck Hounds hosted a happy hour benefit raise funds and bring awareness to the many irresistible puppies still looking for a home. Hard Luck Hounds is a last-chance adoption program of Friends of Austin Animal Center that helps dogs who have overstayed shelters find a happy home. Stephanie Lermer, who contributed tremendously in putting on the event, chose House Wine to be the venue for the benefit because “The very essence of House Wine resonates the Austin culture — unassuming, relaxed, homey. I couldn’t think of a better venue and organization to partner if I had to.” In addition, there were amazing music, delicious drinks and scrumptious food, and awesome raffle items.
“[The benefit] was fun and life-affirming. At least four Hard Luck Hounds alumni were in attendance with their adoring, responsible humans,” said Chantelle Wallace, who assisted in the event planning by recruiting musical performers Juliette Buck and Ken Linsk. Chantelle first got involved with Hard Luck Hounds in September 2011 when David Pasztor, the program’s founder, introduced it to her after she had been volunteering at a shelter for four years. “It’s easy to find motivation to save such sweet creatures,” she says.
One of the Hard Luck Hounds alumni dogs that Chantelle mentioned is Valentine. According to an Austin Post article, Valentine had suffered from a malformed pelvis and a leg that repeatedly popped out due to having been chained by her former owner for so long. Thank goodness, however, 17-year-old Camille Akin soon helped her find a home with a loving owner.
Stephanie, who was mentioned earlier, shared the same sympathy as Chantelle and Camille. She worked her marketing and public relations skills to bring more publicity to the event and more awareness to the mission of Hard Luck Hounds. “[The] key factor was feeling the need to spread awareness about the true meaning of ‘no-kill’,” she said. In fact, Stephanie informed me that the term “no-kill” really means that legally, ten percent or less of the animals are euthanized – not zero percent like many would assume.
And the happy hour benefit really did its job of spreading awareness – especially regarding the fact that if it weren’t for David Pasztor and his Hard Luck Hounds initiative, these dogs would have all been put down. “All in all, the first event took about ten days to plan and was bigger than we could have ever hoped,” Stephanie said proudly.