There are many reasons that our annual Fur Ball stands out among Richmond’s often crowded calendar of fundraising galas – it’s the only pet-friendly black-tie event at The Jefferson Hotel and has a history of setting records for raising funds to rehabilitate the sick and injured homeless pets cared for by the Richmond SPCA each year. The spirited live auction that closes the evening is known for unique packages that deliver experiences that cannot be purchased elsewhere.
That was certainly true for Kristen Fournier, who was the winning bidder on the “Cocktail Crafting & Dinner with Heritage” package last November, which she redeemed last Friday night. With the help of co-owner Emilia Sparatta, this new package was added to our auction at the 2014 event and offered the opportunity to invite up to 10 guests to a magnificent five-course dinner prepared by acclaimed chef Joe Sparatta of Heritage. To top off the experience, Kristen enjoyed a bartending session with mixologist Mättias Hagglund, and together they have crafted a cocktail that bears the name of her beloved Richmond SPCA alumnus Jackson Bigsby.
Through March 20, the Jackson Bigsby will be featured on the cocktail menu at Heritage, and each time it is ordered, the restaurant will donate $1 to the Richmond SPCA!
Kristen describes the drink as, “sweet yet spicy and a touch off beat – just like my pup.” It’s also a tropical reminder of warmer days, which is particularly welcome in RVA this week. The Jackson Bigsby is a Bulldog gin and Clements Creole Shrubb based drink served with an orange garnish that resembles the floppy ear of its canine namesake.
The real Jackson Bigsby joined Kristen’s family on Sept. 9, 2012. She and JonJon, her Yorkie who was then 10 years old, visited the Richmond SPCA to meet some dogs and find out if JonJon might like having a canine buddy. It was love at first sight with Bigsby, a scruffy terrier in need of a haircut. That floppy ear was the way to Kristen’s heart.
“I love it because it sort of perfectly represents his personality,” she said, “just constantly inquisitive and showing off – picture a person who is always arching one eyebrow. That's the equivalent to Jack's ear.”
Bigsby was a clear match for both Kristen and JonJon, and the newly adopted pup acquired the additional name of Jackson on the ride home, to which he responded right away. Now the two dogs are like brothers: sleeping in bed together, sticking up for one another, following one another around and occasionally competing for their favorite human’s attention.
Her experience with Heritage has been unforgettable. “I was super happy to buy the prize to honor Jackson,” Kristen said, “and it was even more fun to redeem it than I would have expected. Heritage really did an amazing job!”
Upcoming: We’re delighted to welcome Southbound, a partnership between Sparatta of Heritage and chef Lee Gregory of The Roosevelt, as a featured caterer at the Progressive Dinner on April 25. Learn more at www.richmondspca.org/dinner.
Tabitha Frizzell Hanes is the director of advancement for the Richmond SPCA. To read the biographies of our other regular bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires a first and last name to be used as your screen name.