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Giving Report: Fine Wines & Felines (with interview!)

Posted by Johnine Larsen on June 19, 2014
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johnine-catWe recently donated $1,000 to MEOW Cat Rescue. If you’ve been reading our blog, that probably won’t come as a surprise—we’re pretty outspoken when it comes to animals. And it really won’t come as a surprise for those who already know about Fine Wines & Felines auction.

If you already know about FW&F, skip to bottom of this post for our interview with Joni Cervenka, board president of MEOW Cat Rescue. Whenever we speak with Joni, our excitement about helping animals jumps up a few notches.


The Event

Every year, MEOW Cat Rescue hosts the Fine Wines & Felines fundraiser auction. Attendees enjoy good food and great drinks as they bid on more items than you could shake a stick at (did we mention this year’s auction will have a country flair?). Items include movie passes, pet supplies, gift certificates from local businesses, and leashes/collars/etc. There are also a few big-ticket donations up for auction, including:

  • 2-night stay in Leavenworth
  • 4-course dinner and 2 hours of billiards or bowling at Garage
  • Bottle of 2006 Joseph Phelps Insignia
  • 2 tickets to Seahawks vs. Broncos on 9/21
  • Pioneer Square food & cultural walking tour
  • 2 VIP tickets for Lily Allen on 10/4 at the Paramount
  • Overnight stay & dinner for 2 at Willows Inn on Lummi Island

The auction has a silent portion (for the introverts among us) and a live portion (which really brings the night to life). Think high energy, high spirits, and (hopefully) high bids.

The Fun

Admission costs $50, but it includes a vegetarian dinner buffet. And once you’re in, there are games (where you can expect that country flair to really come out) and, of course, fine wines. Pete’s Wine Shop will provide the wine, and Georgetown Brewing Company will provide the beer. There will also be a signature cocktail for those with a penchant for mixed drinks.

Did we mention radio host Jackie Cunningham (Click 98.9) will serve as emcee?

The night will also feature a summer hat contest. Creativity will be key on this one. We’re thinking about wearing something like this, but maybe with a few extra frills:pink-cowgirl-hat

The Interview

We talked with Joni Cervenka, board president of MEOW Cat Rescue. We were excited about this auction before, but now? Now, we can hardly wait.

Real Estate Gals: What is your favorite part of Fine Wines & Felines?

Joni Cervenka: The Fund-a-Wish portion of the live auction is my favorite part.  Proceeds from the Fund-a-Wish go into our Mercy Fund, which provides funds for animals needing significant or emergency veterinary care. Watching the video of how we are actually helping cats and dogs, and then seeing just how generous our donors are as they bid pure donations, are completely emotional, extremely rewarding moments. 

REGals: What’s one auction item you think will catch a lot of interest?

Cervenka: Its tough to pick just one!  Of course, Seahawks tickets and the trip to Whistler are going to be very popular.  But I think the generous donations from our fellow nonprofits, including Chimpanzee Northwest (a private tour of the Chimpanzee Sanctuary) and Cougar Mountain Zoo (a private behind the scenes tour of the tiger area), are going to generate a lot of interest.

REGals: Can you tell us about one of the games? Country-themed, we hope!

Cervenka: Much like the games on carnival midways at country fairs, one of our games involves utilizing your skill of ringing a bottle with a ring, in our case using a cat collar to ring a bottle of wine or beer.

REGals: The hat contest. Classy, wacky, creative? Or will the judging criteria come as a surprise?

Cervenka: Creativity will be the key on this one!  We will have a general drawing for a prize for all contestants as well as a prize–and a blue ribbon!–for the top creative hat.   

REGals: A fill-in-the-blank: “If this auction booms and brings in a ton of money, MEOW Cat Rescue could ______.”

 Cervenka: Help so many more cats and dogs that need a happy-ever-after!


The Good

And of course, all of this is for a great cause. MEOW Cat Rescue has a goal of raising $90,000 at this event. With any luck, the night will bring in even more money. The proceeds will help MEOW Cat Rescue continue caring for abandoned cats and dogs, all while honoring their commitment to no-kill. It’s a great organization doing great things, and we couldn’t be happier to help out.

9th annual Fine Wines & Felines: Do the Mew-allup!
When:     August 16, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
Where:   UW’s HUB Ballroom (4001 E. Stevens Way NE)
Cost:      $50 admission (includes dinner)
               $5 drink/games ticket


Final two photos courtesy of MEOW Cat Rescue