WHITE HALL — Raise your glass. It’s time to celebrate that good things can happen when a local business — with advice from its customers — helps out a local charity in financial need.
Shirley’s Angels Animal Rescue in Winchester was the recipient of proceeds from Sparkling Winchester, the first sparkling wine made by the Briedé Family Vineyards on Green Spring Road.
To mark the occasion of bottling their first sparkling wine, Paul and Loretta Briedé decided to name it after the location where they’ve made their home and started their business. “We’ve lived here 32 years and raised our children here,” said Loretta. “We’re trying to help with the community anyway we can, and we thought it would be fun to name it after Winchester.”
The Briedés thought it would be a good idea to donate a portion of the sales of Sparkling Winchester to a local charity. When they asked their customers to choose a worthy charity, the vote was “overwhelmingly” for Shirley’s Angels Animal Rescue, a Winchester-based organization that fosters, spays or neuters animals in crisis.
On Friday night, the Briedés presented Shirley’s Angels Treasurer Christie McLaughlin with a check for $1,000.
“When I called her, she was in tears,” Loretta said of her initial contact with McLaughlin.
Shirley’s Angels began several years ago when McLaughlin teamed up with fellow animal lover Michell Taylor to start the organization, which they named after Taylor’s mother.
They started out as strictly a boxer rescue, “but as time went by we realized that all animals are important,” McLaughlin said.
And now the organization cares for all breeds of dogs and cats and more.
“We do birds, pigs — anything,” McLaughlin said.
Shirley’s Angels relies on a team of people to care for animals in their home until a permanent place can be found. Right now, there are approximately 40 animals being taking care of by Shirley’s Angels volunteers.
With more than 8,000 people following the Shirley’s Angels Facebook page, the group’s influence continues to grow. “It’s kind of neat to see how far we can reach,” McLaughlin said.
Saving animals is stressful, time consuming and expensive work.
Some dogs need hundreds of dollars in medical care, said McLaughlin, who works full-time for the federal government.
The Briedé money will be used to cover veterinarian bills. Plus, Shirley’s Angels is committed to making sure all animals in their care are spayed or neutered.
“People aren’t always looking out after the best interest of the animals,” McLaughlin said. “There’s an overwhelming need to place animals who are needing help.”