Today I write on behalf of our beloved founder of Washington State Wine and Beer, Bean Fairbanks, who is probably going to be totally embarrassed over this post. I’ll ask for forgiveness later. Just remember, this is coming from good intentions!

Bean, an impassioned advocate for the Washington wine and beer industry, was diagnosed with MS in 1987. This past January, her beloved service dog, Ebony, suddenly and unexpectedly passed away after suffering from a distended and twisted small intestine. I was so choked up with tears over Ebony’s passing that I couldn’t even form words when I called Bean to express my sorrow about the news. There is no way to begin to imagine the despair Bean must have felt over this loss.

Enter a new service dog. A dog Bean calls “Aauuga” because the name makes her laugh. We can all benefit from more laughter, right?

With all that Bean has done for this community, I ask that you please help with fundraising to provide Aauuga the training she needs to fully serve Bean. The puppy is still growing and learning, and training is expensive and ongoing. Did you know there are almost no resources left in Washington State to train your own service dog?

Bean and Aauuga

$400 pays for airfare for Bean and Aauuga to attend training in San Diego this spring
$310 covers the second seminar in a series of three, mandatory for certification through Little Angels
$175 provides for the advanced puppy training class
$58 pays for one night of lodging during the 4 day trip for training
$50 feeds Aauuga with her special large breed puppy food
$25 buys a new head collar for the growing puppy

Please donate now, mention “Classy Kegger” in the comments and as a thank you, get admittance to the Classy Kegger hosted by David LeClaire at the The Factory Luxe at the Old Rainier Brewery Friday April 10th, 7-10pm. Wine lovers, fear not, we’ll have something for you, too! Seattle, we know you’re a last minute town, but advance donations help tremendously with planning for Aauuga’s training. Any amount will help. If you’re able to attend the Kegger, we look forward to seeing you. If not, consider this a karmic contribution. All donations go directly to Bean and Aauuga.

Aauuga needs to be trained to do many things for Bean such as protect her blind side; alert Bean when she becomes hyperstimulated, fatigued or has an impending migraine; assist with doors, lights, and drawers; lend pulling power for her wheelchair when needed; and provide navigation through hallways and crowds. Note that the above costs represent Aauuga’s spring training. She needs to return to San Diego for her third seminar this summer. Once she is bigger her hips will need to be checked and X-rayed before she begins mobility assist work like helping Bean get up when she falls, and pulling her wheel chair over curb cuts and out of ruts.

Your donation will be life changing.

I had the good fortune of meeting Bean years ago at the Northwest Wine Academy. At the time, she had recently founded this blog and was kind enough to open my eyes to the world of social media. Through this connection, I have had the pleasure of meeting wine and beer lovers from near and far, virtually and in person. Suffice it to say, my life has unalterably been changed for the better. She is one of the nicest, most incredibly patient and generous people I have been fortunate to know. Will  you join me in this endeavor? If you have benefited from or enjoyed the work she’s done, here is a great opportunity to give back.