Writer: Rachel Quade
Photos Provided by Audrey Wolf & Daniel’s Vineyard
If you visited Daniel’s Vineyard last summer, you may have seen a smiling, friendly girl in the building taking pictures with her camera, or in the vines grading grapes, or even in the tasting room charming the customers. This girl was Kassie Braun. Kassie was a marketing and public relations intern for Daniel’s. She worked alongside the owners of Daniel’s, the Cook family.
In her role as an intern, Kassie created Daniel’s first Pour it Forward event- Sip. Bark. Repeat. Partnering with the Hamilton County Humane Society, she established a special day for dogs — her favorite animals. She gathered sponsors, specialty product vendors, food trucks, and musical talent. The community was invited to come out for the day with their favorite four-legged friends to help raise money for the Humane Society.
For a nominal fee, people could spend a beautiful summer day in Daniel’s picturesque vineyard sipping wine with man’s best friend at their sides. This occasion was not only a fundraiser, but it also helped raise awareness for the need of pet adoptions in our community. The Humane Society brought dogs to this event that could be adopted. Ultimately, Sip. Bark. Repeat. was so popular that Daniel’s decided to make it a monthly event. On the first Saturday of every month, Daniel’s donated 100 percent of the ticket proceeds to various local dog rescue locations or shelters.
While the monthly Sip. Bark. Repeat. will carry on as usual, April through November this year, the June fundraiser will see an important change. On Sunday, June 3, Daniel’s Vineyard will graciously host the first annual Kassie Braun Sip. Bark. Repeat. in memory of the vibrant girl who tragically past away while studying abroad in November 2017. The Cook family was eager to do something to honor Kassie’s memory.
“Kassie made such a profound impression on the Daniel’s Vineyard family, and we are honored to continue her mission of helping to provide a meaningful impact on our community,” says co-owner, Kim Cook.
For those who didn’t know Kassie, she was as warm and caring of a girl as anyone could ever meet. Her giving nature was evident even as a young girl when she would cheerfully give away her birthday gifts every year to an adopted family. She would regularly grow out her beautiful hair so that she could cut it off and donate to the organizations Locks of Love and Children for Hair Loss. Before graduating from Cathedral High School in 2015, she led the underclassmen retreats and spearheaded the school’s annual Walk for a Purpose. Her impressive leadership activities and community volunteer efforts earned her a full ride scholarship to St. Edward’s in Austin, Texas.
In order to carry on Kassie’s legacy of giving, her family and friends have set up KassieKares.org. Its mission is to “promote philanthropic student involvement through international travel and activities that allow young leaders to engage in meaningful experiences that positively impact children in the developing world.”
One of the organization’s projects is the construction of the Kassie Braun Memorial Secondary School in Abakaliki, Nigeria. In her too brief life, Kassie traveled around the world striving to learn about different cultures and societies so that she could better help the people who live there. She was eager to embrace young impoverished children and deeply cared about making their lives better.
“Perhaps the biggest tragedy of all is that Kassie never got a chance to fully realize her dreams of giving back to others,” says Chalene Braun, Kassie’s mother. “After she fell, so very many people expressed their desire to help with KassieKares. Together we can carry on her spirit of philanthropy, starting with the 1st Annual Kassie Braun Sip. Bark. Repeat. community event.”
The June 3 event will be a fantastic way to come together as a community for a great cause. In addition to wine and wine slushies for the adults, there will be live music all day, with performances by Corey Cox and Scotty Randolph and a large silent auction. Plenty of food trucks like FoxGardin will be present and, of course, a free puppy kissing booth and pup cups!
If you are unable to make it to Daniel’s Vineyard but would like to contribute to this worthwhile charity, please visit KassieKares.org.