Delectable dining to help animals in need
Lenny Russo has been called a local luminary, a Renaissance man, and is one of the most celebrated chefs in the Twin Cities food scene. What most don’t know about the renowned chef, educator and writer is that he is also a long-time supporter of Animal Humane Society. Lenny helped us to present the first successful wine dinner more than a dozen years ago.
Lenny’s passion for community is evident in all that he does. Beyond his work as a chef, he is also chair of the Food Literacy Task Force, Organic Advisory Task Force for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, as well as a writer for the Star Tribune.
His passion for animals is also evident as soon as you ask him about his support of Animal Humane Society. “I love animals and this seemed like a good way to help express that love,” Russo said while sharing photos of his beloved Pipo, a seven-year-old English cocker spaniel.
The common ingredient that binds Russo and the other celebrated Wine Dinner chefs this year is their sense of community. Russo’s mission is to promote local farmers practicing sustainable agriculture. It’s this same sense of working together within a community that brings supporters of Animal Humane Society together and allows us to work toward our mission.
For one night only, the celebration of food, wine and love for animals combines the culinary talents of Philip & Desiree Dorwart, Lenny Russo, Russell Klein, Lance Kapps, Scott Pampuch, Marshall Paulsen and newcomer to the family of chefs, Erick Harcey of Victory 44 with the expertise of wine connoisseur Ray Zemke of The Cellars Wines & Spirits, the support of Mpls. St. Paul Magazine and hundreds of animal lovers.
So, what’s on the menu? Check out what the chefs are creating for this special evening. Tickets are now available and will sell out quickly so reserve your seats today. All proceeds from this event support the programs and services of Animal Humane Society.
When Juno’s previous owner moved out of state, he left the one-and-a-half year old pit bull with family members who didn’t want a dog. They first tried re-homing her with a family friend; however, after a brief stay they returned Juno saying she was too nice and they wanted a more aggressive dog. That’s when this sweet pup was brought to Animal Humane Society.
Juno quickly captured the hearts of the staff and volunteers at AHS’s Golden Valley location, soaking up all the attention she could and handing out big wet kisses in return. For two weeks she waited patiently in the adoption center, hoping someone would see past her somewhat tough-looking exterior and realize what a lovable and well-mannered dog she was.
That day came when Emily and Ryan were visiting AHS looking for a cat to adopt. They also decided to “just look” at the dogs that day, but already had two dogs and had no intention of getting a third. They spotted Juno and noticed her sweet face and gentle demeanor. All that night they couldn’t stop thinking about her and were back the very next day to bring her home.
Juno quickly settled in with Emily, Ryan, and their two other dogs, Maverick and Domino. She loves playing with her new canine brothers and they are often found snuggled up on the couch after a full day of playtime, Juno snoring away.
Emily introduces Juno to as many people as she can, making sure pit bulls are portrayed in a positive light. “Juno works hard at changing perceptions with her kisses and good manners,” says Emily.
Juno has changed the minds of many who doubted the breed. Just last month they were in Petsmart when two small children approached them. Juno sat patiently, wagging her tail while the kids hugged her. Their mother was shocked; she told Emily she had never seen a pit bull that was so gentle and calm. “It made me so proud and grateful to have her in my life,” says Emily. “So many people fall in love with her after meeting her.”
With National Pit Bull Awareness Day coming up on October 22, Animal Humane Society and Kindest Cut, a new low-cost spay/neuter service provided in partnership with AHS, are celebrating the breed with a fun and educational family and dog friendly event that includes free spay/neuter services for pit bulls.
The event will take place from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Neighborhood House in St. Paul. In addition to providing free spay/neuter surgeries for pit bulls there will also be a free microchip clinic, snacks, games, and Animal Humane Society educators and dog trainers on hand to talk about this wonderful breed. Click here for more information.
We know that a collar and ID tag is the best protection you have against losing your pet. An ID tag provides a quick and simple way for someone who finds a lost pet to contact the owner and get that pet back home safely. Yet many of us still haven’t taken this simple precaution. To help us help more pets find their way home, please take our brief survey on pet identification.
Animal Humane Society is fortunate to have many generous supporters who spend their own time, money, and effort to help the animals we care for by organizing events that benefit AHS. These fundraisers vary in type and size and include garage sales, car washes, athletic tournaments, bake sales and more.
Often these projects are organized by animal-loving children. We frequently have kids donate money they raised through lemonade stands, loose change jars, or even donations they received in lieu of birthday presents.
Another way kids help is by collecting items we need to care for the thousands of animals that come through our doors each year. This is exactly what 12-year-old Max is doing in preparation for his Bar Mitzvah at the end of November.
“I love animals and I think every animal should be treated with respect,” says Max. “I chose Animal Humane Society because in addition to cats and dogs, they also care for other less common animals like ferrets and mice and I want to help them all.”
Max has set up a registry in his name at the Chuck & Don’s Pet Food Outlet in Plymouth. There you can purchase items from our wish list such as leashes, Kongs and treats. Those items will be set aside for Max who will pick them up on November 15 and deliver them to AHS. If you’d like to contribute to Max’s project, you can visit the store to purchase items.
If you are interested in organizing and hosting your own event to benefit Animal Humane Society, please visit our Third Party Fundraisers Online Toolkit. Here you’ll find fundraising ideas, tips to plan and market your event, downloads to help make your event a success, and more.
Have you wondered how your charitable giving can make the biggest impact for the animals? If you’re curious about which giving techniques will maximize your donation and minimize your tax bill, you’ll want to join us for this seminar on November 9 or 12.
Erica Whittlinger, former CEO of Whittlinger Capital Management and commentator on Minnesota Public Radio’s Sound Money program, is a long-time supporter of the Animal Humane Society. She’ll share her expertise on how to develop a tax-smart financial plan with your humane values in mind. Erica will cover topics such as why tax planning is more important than ever, how you can eliminate income and estate taxes, and which techniques are best for you.
There is no charge for the seminar, but space is limited. Click here for more information on both sessions and to reserve your spot today. If you have questions about the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (763) 432-4525.
AHS is a finalist in GiveMN.org’s video contest! Help us win $1,000 for the animals by voting for our video titled “Hart Bodies.”