Published On: Mon, Apr 30th, 2012

Third PROPEL Fine Wines and Canines a Howling Success

By: Skip Sheffield

Boca Raton went to the dogs Wednesday, April 18, and that’s a good thing.

The third annual Fine Wine and Canines fundraiser to benefit PROPEL was far and away the greatest success so far, with more than 120 dogs and 400 humans in attendance at the Monument Plaza of Royal Palm Place.

“We know there were at least 120 dogs because we ran out of tags,” said event co-chair Elizabeth Hevert. “The amazing thing was that the dogs got along so well. They seem to sense they were at a party.”

PROPEL (People Reaching Out to Provide Education and Leadership” offers assistant and guidance to more than 60 lower income or at-risk youth in the Boca Raton area. “Fine Wine and Canines” is one of two yearly fundraiser events. The other is a PROPEL Classic golf tournament held in the fall. A portion of the proceeds goes toward PROPEL scholarships, administered through the George Snow Foundation. Jeffrey Pepper, an AKC professional judge, drove from Palm Beach Gardens and volunteered his time as judge of a loosely-designed dog competition. Pepper travels the world judging canine events such as the Westminster Kennel Dog Show, but the PROPEL event is decidedly less formal. Pepper is also President of the Palm Beach Dog Club.

“It’s always fun to play around a bit at a dog competition,” said Pepper. “People take things far too seriously. I tried to engage people. I actually asked the audience to judge the best costume by applause.”

Nineteen top restaurants from Royal Palm Place and other Boca Raton locations donated food from sample stations at the event. Wine was donated by Opici Wines of Palm Beach and spirits were donated by Blue Martini and Skinny Margarita. Also donating their time were professional musicians Angel Curras and Mary Eiland.

“I think it’s safe to say that we raised close to $10,000,” commented Michael Daszkal, CPA, who volunteers as treasurer of PROPEL. “The will help the PROPEL organization, and I think everyone had a good time.”

PROPEL has only one full-time employee, executive director Tolliver Miller. Approximately 40 people of all ages volunteered to make Fine Wines and Canines happen.

“When a function such as our Fine Wine and Canines is a success, we have to thank many people,” said Miller. “The credit starts with the planning committee and goes to the sponsors, vendors, volunteers and guests. We appreciate your support of our participants and programs.”

For more information, go to or call 561-955-8553.

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