Kick-Off Party at Hayseed and Housdon raises over $10,000 for Wine 4 Paws this year 

PASO ROBLES — Wineries all over North County embraced the sunny weather while supporting Woods Humane Society for the annual Wine 4 Paws fundraiser. This year, the weekend-long event started on April 19 with their first “Bark after Dark” in Downtown Paso Robles. 

“While we have not yet finalized the total amount fundraised, Wine 4 Paws was another incredible event and such a huge support to Woods Humane Society,” said Woods Humane Society Director of Development Jamie Relth of this year’s event. “We are once again wowed by this community, and just so grateful.”

The fundraiser, founded by Sarah Tomasetti, benefits Woods Humane Society, a nonprofit dedicated to helping homeless animals since 1955. During Wine 4 Paws, participating businesses donate 10 percent of their sales to Woods Humane. Woods cares for over 3,000 cats and dogs each year at both their San Luis Obispo and Atascadero facilities. It also works with other rescue organizations in the area by offering a low-cost spay and neuter clinic and taking in animals from other shelters. They are dedicated to providing the highest level of care to animals in need until they can be united with a loving home. 

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Over 80 wineries and businesses participated in this year’s fundraiser, including wine bars and businesses in Downtown Paso Robles. Local winery Hayseed and Housdon hosted the Kick-Off Party at Cal Coast Beer Company on Saturday, April 20.

Owner Ted Ross said, “We moved to Paso Robles full time in 2013 and became aware of Wine 4 Paws that very same year. Many of our favorite wineries supported Wine 4 Paws, so it was an event that my partner Winn and I chose to enjoy — as both consumers and animal lovers — right away.”

Wineries and businesses throughout North County planned their own special events throughout the weekend including cat cafes, pet portrait sessions, live music, painting parties, and more, according to Relth. 

New this year was Bark After Dark, presented by the Downtown Wine District, which featured 18 participating wineries in Downtown Paso Robles that stayed open late for nighttime festivities.

“Bark After Dark was a success for both wine consumers and the downtown tasting rooms that participated. By remaining open a couple of hours longer each day over the weekend, downtown tasting rooms had an opportunity to engage with more consumers and consumers had a greater opportunity to support Wine 4 Paws through their purchases,” said Ross who added that “every little bit helps.”

Ross who was already friends with the fundraiser’s founder Tomasetti, knew that Wine 4 Paws was a fundraiser they wanted to support when they started Hayseed and Housdon in 2019. 

“The mission of Hayseed and Housdon is to raise both awareness and money for worth nonprofits operating in the community; nonprofits that look after segments of the community that we care about,” he said. “We have eight wines in our program and eight local organizations we share profits with. Wine 4 Paws is one of them.” 

Throughout the weekend, Hayseed and Housdon raised just a little more than $10,000 for Wine 4 Paws this year — about a 10 percent improvement from what they were able to raise last year.

“Hayseed and Housdon’s Wine 4 Paws Kick-Off Party extended things even further into the evening on Saturday, of course. About 150 people attended our fundraiser, which was about the maximum capacity we could accommodate at Cal Coast Beer Company,” said Russ. “Because Cal Coast donated their space to us, we were also able to optimize the amount of funds raised for Woods Humane Society via the party. They are great partners.”

On average, Wine 4 Paws raises around $700,000 for Woods Humane Society. Even during the pandemic, when the majority of events and fundraisers were canceled, Wine 4 Paws was able to raise over $45,000 virtually — helping not only Woods Humane but also local businesses. Proceeds of Wine 4 Paws go towards the nonprofit’s operation costs.

Relth added, “We were so thrilled and touched to see so many businesses putting their unique spin on the event, and so many animal lovers showing their support and excitement to go out and enjoy our beautiful wine country, for the sake of the dogs and cats at Woods.”

Featured Image: A T-shirt message sums up the essence of the Wine 4 Paws Kick-Off Party April 19 at Cal Coast Beer Company. Photo by Peter Schroeder