A ‘paw-fect’ day: Third Annual Barks and Brews a success

By SCOTT MIMS / Staff Writer 

HELENA — What could be better than enjoying a cold drink with man’s best friend? Doing it on a sunny day on the banks of Buck Creek. That was the scene Saturday, March 7 for the Third Annual Barks and Brews fundraiser held at Oversoul Brewing in Helena.

Community members—and their four-legged friends—came together for the event, which featured live music, vendors and even a doggie obstacle course.

It was all to raise money for Shelby Emergency Assistance (SEA), which provides basic needs to those in Shelby County experiencing a crisis.

“It is definitely larger than last year. I would love to see this keep trending,” said Amiee Mellon, assistant professor at the University of Montevallo College of Business and vice president/fundraising chair for SEA.

Sarah Courington and Aiden Fullington were among the younger members of the community enjoying the festivities and the sunny weather Saturday.

“I think it’s a good opportunity for people to come together with dogs, because dogs are loving animals,” Courington said.

“It’s a good time to gather together with family and listen to music,” added Fullington.

Karen Pendleton of SEA said the organization assisted 2,166 individuals throughout Shelby County in 2019. The group’s services include food assistance, utility assistance, housing assistance, medical services and dental services. They also sponsor a program to help pregnant and parenting teens, and provide basic school supplies and Christmas gifts to area children in need.

“It’s important for us to let folks know the agency exists, so by having fundraising events like this, not only does it help support the agency, but it’s another way of getting the word out,” Pendleton said.

There were several booths at Barks and Brews, including a live auction to directly benefit SEA and a stuffed doggie adoption booth sponsored by 280 Animal Clinic. Live music was provided by Love Rat, and barbecue from Brother Beard’s Backyard BBQ. Members of Phi Mu from the University of Montevallo and SEA board members were among a large group of volunteers donating their time and energy.

Mellon and Jason Perry founded the Jr. Board of SEA, which seeks to reach members of the younger generation.

“I wanted to be a board member because the impact they have on the community changes the lives of individuals,” Perry said. “I wanted to dedicate myself to that effort.”

For Tim Alexander, past SEA president, the motivation to participate in the organization was a personal one.

“I grew up in Montevallo,” Alexander said. “I was (in) one of the single parent households and SEA provided assistance and food for my family when I was a kid.”

Jason Pruitt, co-owner of Oversoul Brewing, said the event was bigger than expected this year.

“We’re stoked to have everyone here,” he said.

Barks and Brews was sponsored by Bradford Real Estate Agency Group, the University of Montevallo MBA program and 280 Animal Clinic.