Bryan County dogs, take notice: Send your owners to the wine and cheese fundraiser to raise money for the proposed Bryan County Bark Park.
"Bryan County has formalized providing a wonderful parcel of land for us to create a dog park in Henderson Park," says Wendy Bolton, president of the Bryan County Bark Park Association. "It's a true gem, with state-of-the-art soccer fields.
"A dog park there is a perfect fit and would make it even more valuable to the community. Before they'll start clearing the land, we need to raise $10,000."
In addition to wine and cheese, the event will feature live music and live and silent auctions. It will take place from 5-8 p.m. April 25 at Marker 107, 2943 Kilkenny Road.
"We're hoping to have a great turnout so we can get a chunk of the money we need," Bolton says. "Marker 107 is right on Kilkenny Creek, which is a beautiful setting that is perfect to do this."
The idea for the dog park came about a year and a half ago.
"My family was on vacation in North Carolina and stumbled upon a dog park," Bolton says. "We decided to go check it out."
Bailey, the family dog, loved the park. "It was just like taking a small child to the playground," she says.
"She ran, she played, she didn't want to leave. I started to think, 'How do we get this in Richmond Hill?'
"It turned out, two other ladies were thinking the same thing - Jane Honnor and Lesley Francis," Bolton says. "We started finding out if people wanted a dog park, and in no time, we had 1,500 signatures on petitions we placed in local businesses."
The Bryan County Dog Park Association was formed and its members began talking to the county about land.
"Our plan all along was to work with them to see if they would provide a suitable piece of land if we could raise the money to make improvements," Bolton says.
On April 9, the Bryan County Commission unanimously approved the allocation of 1.5 acres within Henderson Park to be used as the dog park. The land will be formally granted when the association raises $10,000 for the building of fencing and other essential items.
The county will provide basic maintenance of the park. Additional insurance and upkeep will be indemnified by the Bryan County Bark Park Association.
"This is wonderful news and we are confident of reaching our fundraising goals to enable us to start work on the allocated land within Henderson Park, which is a beautiful area alongside water and with plenty of trees," Bolton says. "We have already received some generous donations and people have been giving their spare change in the collection boxes around town."
At the wine and cheese event, Jeff's Beverage will provide the wine and also have wine connoisseur staff on hand to share information about wine selection. For those who prefer not to drink wine, a cash bar will be available.
A range of fine wines, savory cheeses and hors d'oeuvres will be available. Local musician Roger Widener will provide music.
Silent and live auctions will feature a variety of items, including spa packages and original artwork. "There are several pieces of beautiful jewelry and gift baskets to pamper humans, as well as pets," Bolton says.
"The Magnolia Grill is donating shrimp and grits for 25 people, delivered to your home, ready to serve," she says. "Would that not take the hassle out of a dinner party?"
There is a stay at the Thunderbird Inn in Savannah combined with a trolley tour, plus a combination of gift certificates into one package called "A Bite of the Hill."
Tickets can be purchased at the Richmond Hill/Bryan County Chamber of Commerce, 259 Ga. 17; PawParazzi at Parker's Square, 11408 Ford Ave.; Ella's of Richmond Hill, 10686 Ford Ave.; and Awakening Yoga Studio, 2453 Ga. 17, next to Spine & Sport in Richmond Hill.
"Jeff's Beverages will provide a lot of exciting wines," Bolton says. "There will be a perfect combination of items to bring folks out and raise money."
IF YOU GO
What: Bryan County Bark Park wine and cheese fundraiser
When: 5-8 p.m. April 25
Where: Marker 107, 2943 Kilkenny Road
Cost: $35 per person in advance or $40 at the door