A wine tasting event to benefit rescue horses will take place Aug. 10 at the Olalla Valley Vineyard. The event will by hosted by and benefit Pony Up Rescue for Equines, a nonprofit horse rescue organization.
The event is free and open to the public.
“We want everyone to come,” said Andrea Gergen, fundraising director for Pony Up. “We don’t want to be taking, taking, taking. We have to give back.”
The wine-tasting event will be formatted like a meet-and-greet, and it will run from 6 to 9 p.m. People may stay for however long they like, Gergen said.
The event will feature three types of wine, as well as appetizers and music. Eric and the Steves, a three-man band, will play live vintage jazz and rock and roll music at the event, Gergen said.
Commemorative glasses will be for sale to help offset the cost. People also can buy raffle tickets and have a chance to win one of five prizes. All proceeds will go toward the horses, Gergen said, and a portion of wine sales will benefit Pony Up.
Pony Up is looking for sponsors and donations to help with the cost.
“We don’t want to be one of the rescues that need to be rescued,” Gergen said.
The goal is to spread awareness about the organization. They also want to help promote local businesses, since donations usually come from them, Gergen said.
Pony Up will promote its annual dinner-auction fundraising event, which will take place in October. This is the first year Pony Up is hosting a wine-tasting event, but it hopes to make it an annual event in the future.
Pony Up Rescue for Equines has been a nonprofit since 2009. It rescues horses that are in need of help and raises them to be adopted, Gergen said. In order to adopt, one must fill out an application. They are encouraged to visit the horse, a site visit is required, and post-adoption visits usually happen as well.
“We want to find them their forever home,” Gergen said.
Pony Up wants to find the right fit for a horse, not adopt one to someone who will turn around and sell it, Gergen said.
Pony Up receives its horses in a variety of ways. Owners will turn them over to the farm, or they will rescue them, Gergen said. Since 2009, Pony Up has rescued 60 to 70 horses.
“Our whole goal is to fundraise to feed horses, medical care and training,” Gergen said.
People also can help Pony Up by volunteering, from cleaning stalls, bringing over food or donating time, Gergen said.
Pony Up has 14 horses in two locations. One of its goals is to get all the horses to be located at Starfish farm. There are only two left to move, Gergen said.
Eighteen months ago it opened Starfish farm in Olalla, Gergen said.
The farm was named after a story in which a man walks down the ocean shore and sees a girl throwing starfish back into the ocean. He tells her she can’t save them all. She agrees but says she can save every one she throws back in the sea.
Pony Up embraces that motto, and they say they can save one horse at a time, Gergen said.
“We can’t save them all, but we can save some,” she said.
There will be an open house at Starfish Farm prior to wine tasting from 5 to 6 p.m., when people can meet the horses and see the farm.
“There are horses until they’re your horses,” Gergen said. “I got involved because I wanted to give back. I didn’t realize it would be such a passion.”