Brunch with Best Friends: Chow Down for Interfaith Ministries aniMeals on Wheels

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By Marene Gustin

Want to enjoy a champagne brunch at Hotel ZaZa and raise funds for Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston’s aniMeals on Wheels program that delivers pet food to seniors?

Well, who wouldn’t want to sip bubbles and chow down on brunch foods to benefit precious pets?

Interfaith Ministries’ annual Best Friends Brunch is coming up Saturday, February 11, and you can still get tickets at support.imgh.org. Tickets are $200 and up. Tables are $2,500.

Last year nearly 300 people attended, and the organization raised $112,000 for seniors’ best friends. Any client signed up for the Meals on Wheels program, who has a furry best friend, can ask to be put on the aniMeals on Wheels list.

“We started aniMeals about 10 years ago when we realized that some of our Meals on Wheels’ seniors were feeding the lunches we delivered to their pets,” says Interfaith Director of Communications Raequel Roberts. “Obviously that was not good for the senior, nor the pets.”

The annual brunch is the main source of funding for the program that receives no federal monies. About 600 seniors are currently signed up with 1,000 pets (cats and dogs) receiving food.

“Once a month, volunteers deliver pet food, along with biscuits and toys,” Roberts explains. “It takes about 200 volunteers to do the job, about 9,000 pounds of pet food per month.

“Studies have shown that pets can improve the health of seniors and improve their quality of life,” she adds, “and a Mayo Clinic study found that seniors with pets have 21 percent fewer physician visits.”

This year’s fundraiser will be chaired by Heather Holland, with Neal Hamil and Karen Winston serving as honorary chairs. The event, called Fairy Tails, features a reception and raffle, brunch, and a program that will honor Jerri Duddlesten Moore and her pup Armi as aniMeals on Wheels champions.

If you have a fur baby, imagine being a senior citizen on a fixed income and not having enough money to feed your beloved pet. This amazing program helps people like that, Even if you can’t make the event, you might consider volunteering for aniMeals or making a donation on the Interfaith Ministries website. These pups and kitties and their loving human parents could use your help.

What: Best Friends Brunch: “Fairy Tales”
When: February 11 at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Hotel ZaZa, 5701 Main St.
Details: imgh.org


Marene Gustin

Marene Gustin has written about Texas culture, food, fashion, the arts, and Lone Star politics and crime for television, magazines, the web and newspapers nationwide, and worked in Houston politics for six years. Her freelance work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle, Austin-American Statesman, Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, Texas Monthly, Dance International, Dance Magazine, the Advocate, Prime Living, InTown magazine, OutSmart magazine and web sites CultureMap Houston and Austin, Eater Houston and Gayot.com, among others.
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