Dinner at the Distillery

Second Chance Animal Rescue’s “Dinner at the Distillery” held to sold out crowd



By Ron Giofu


Second Chance Animal Rescue’s fundraising dinner brought a packed house to Wolfhead Distillery.

The first-ever “Dinner at the Distillery” brought in a sold out crowd of roughly 75 people for dinner with the evening also featuring silent auctions and raffles.

Cherie Smith, president of Second Chance Animal Rescue, said it was an opportunity for the group to raise funds to support their operations.

“We rescue animals and adopt them throughout Windsor-Essex County,” she said.

Julie Bortolotti of Second Chance Animal Rescue (left) greets Grace, the rescue dog adopted by Sam Manherz, during “Dinner at the Distillery.”

Smith added they also rescue animals from “kill shelters” in Quebec, Ohio, Texas and Georgia. Animals are treated by veterinarians including being spayed and neutered. When an animal is ready to be adopted, it is placed into a foster home before it is adopted. Smith noted there are reference and background checks done to all people looking to adopt.

Second Chance Animal Rescue tries to hold two dinners per year as well as other fundraising events in order to fund themselves, as it is a non-profit organization. As part of last Thursday night’s dinner, attendees got a chance to meet the dog Grace, who is cared for by the Manherz family. Sam Manherz, daughter of Wolfhead owners Sue and Tom Manherz, brought the dog to the dinner where the public got a chance to see her.

Fundraising events like “Dinner at the Distillery” also gave them a chance to educate people on how to care for animals and what Second Chance Animal Rescue is all about. Second Chance Animal Rescue was founded in 2015 “to heal, help and re-home pets of all ages and size” with their mission being “to provide the necessary veterinary care for animals in need and to place animals into homes where they will be treated with love and respect.”

For more on Second Chance Animal Rescue, visit www.scarescue.org or www.facebook.com/scarsecondchanceanimalrescue. They also have a Twitter site found by searching @scarescue.

Second Chance Animal Rescue asking community for support with unique event



By Jolene Perron

A local rescue is working with a local distillery to put a new spin on fundraising dinners.

“We have heard that the food at Wolfhead Distillery is like taking a traditional pasta dinner and elevating it to a much higher level,” explained Julie Bortolotti from Second Chance Animal Rescue. “We are having roasted rosemary chicken, penne in vegetarian sauce, salad tossed in Wolfhead Vodka Dressing and rolls with butter. By request, a Vegan/Vegetarian option will be available.”

Bortolotti explained they have two fundraising dinner events per year, which gives them an opportunity to celebrate all of their accomplishments and chance to get together with other supports to thank them for their contributions towards helping the animals.

“Animals hold a soft spot in my heart and that is the main reason why we agreed to do this fundraiser,” explained Sue Manherz, co-owner of Wolfhead Distillery. “We recently started fostering animals and ended up keeping our second foster dog. Second Chance Animal Rescue does a fantastic job helping and re-homing so many animals that I am happy to help them out. I wish there were more organizations like them.”

While they won’t be able to have any animals at the location, they will have a PowerPoint presentation with photos of adoptables and of animals that have been adopted out. Additionally, they will have our binder of animals available for viewing.

Second Chance Animal Rescue is holding a fundraiser dinner at Wolfhead Distillery on Howard. The proceeds will go towards helping meet the needs of animals like Tessa, until they find their fur-ever homes.

Second Chance Animal Rescue is holding a fundraiser dinner at Wolfhead Distillery on Howard. The proceeds will go towards helping meet the needs of animals like Tessa, until they find their fur-ever homes.

“The unfortunate situation is that there are already so many unwanted animals all over the world and a rescue can only save so many,” said Bortolotti. “That is why we encourage people to consider opening their hearts and their homes to the ones that find themselves without a loving place to lay their heads at night. We also promote spaying and neutering to help curb the overpopulation of unwanted animals who can – and many do – live life on the streets, scrounging and fighting to survive.”

The funds raised from this event will be directed towards veterinary care for the rescued animals. Bortolotti said every animal that makes their way to Second Chance Animal Rescue is provided with flea treatment, deworming, up-to-date vaccines, spay/neuter and microchip. The costs of veterinary care far exceed what they raise through adoption fees alone so it is imperative that they come up with creative, new and fun ways to raise the money to pay for these expenses. Periodically, Bortolotti explained, when they run into unexpected medical issues with animals, they also create GoFundMe Campaigns to quickly raise the funds for these unexpected needs.

“Many of the dogs that have come through our rescue have found themselves dumped in high kill shelters because they were no longer wanted by their families,” explained Bortolotti. “We also – when space permits – accept animals (both dogs and cats) that are surrendered by their owners and, periodically we are able to help tiny kittens that caring people pick up from the streets. In each instance, we carefully review the circumstances and ensure that every animal that becomes part of Second Chance Animal Rescue, is healthy before they are made available for adoption.”

The Dinner at the Distillery will be August 24th at 6 p.m. Tickets are $40 each, and are available by e-mailing scarescue.julie@outlook.com.

Second Chance Animal Rescue will also be holding a silent auction, and is planning a few other surprises for the evening.

“I’m looking forward to the event, although I am so busy running around that I never get an opportunity to enjoy the food,” said Bortolotti. “The venue is amazing and the staff at Wolfhead Distillery are very accommodating.”

Manherz explained this is only their second fundraiser, since they don’t have a special private room and have to shut down for the public. However, she said being able to help in any way is always a great feeling.

“I know its not one person that can do everything – it takes a team,” said Manherz. “And every little bit helps and if I can’t donate my time right now at least we can be here to help support by offering our services and establishment to fund raise for a wonder cause.”