Sunday, April 18, 2021

What is all the yapping about?

Hula girl. Submitted

Hula girl. Submitted

By Gina Sisbarro

All that yapping means “The 3rd Annual Mutt’s & Martinis Yappy Hour” is happening on March 23rd from 5 – 7 pm at CJ’s on the Bay. The event is the largest fundraiser for the organization Bedtime Bundles, which is a not for profit that supplies basic necessity bundles (items stuffed in a pillowcase) to migrant children throughout Collier County.

The original event goes back to the year 2009 when it was called “Doggie Happy Hour” co-chaired by volunteers Cheryl Mueller and Jan Temkiewicz. The event has grown both in number of participants, number of auction items, and happenings at the event. The new chair Ms. Denise Rose has cheerfully renamed the event “Mutts and Martinis” and her enthusiasm spills over the martini glass as she describes this year’s event. “This year we have a red carpet laid out for the dog owner and pet. Strut your stuff down our runway right to have your photo taken by professional photographer Ania, who opened a new studio on the island. For the cost of $10.00 she sends you your photo through your e-mail, which you can use any way you wish.”

What does this fun cocktail hour cost, only a $5.00 donation, which includes a free drink courtesy of owner Jackie Kurt of CJ’s on the Bay. That means a glass of house wine, domestic draft or soft drink, not to mention a future dinner coupon to the restaurant. Pets don’t leave with their paws empty, your special member of the family receives a free Doggie Bag with its own treats to enjoy.

This year Denise has three items to raffle off. “Last year we raffled off a gas grill generously donated from Home Depot and sold only sixty tickets. This year we are blowing the doors off our raffle with an unlimited number of tickets to be purchased. Home Depot has again donated a beautiful gas grill valued at $400.00. Seminole Casino, our premier sponsor for the event, has donated a private stretch Hummer to pick you up and treat you and seven guests to a dinner at their casino. This package itself is valued over $2,000.00. The last item is a Tommy Bahama Fan donated by Shell Lighting and installed by San Marco Electric valued at $600.00. Raffle tickets can be purchased at one for $10.00 or three for $25.00. You don’t have to be there to win and raffle tickets can be bought through the Bedtime Bundles Office by calling 393-3415.”

Other features for the yappy hour is a silent auction with over 65 items and counting, a 50/50 drawing and for the gentlemen, the Zig Zag Girls from Seminole Casino who will make an appearance for the afternoon. In addition feel free to purchase one of their signature martini glasses for $5.00. Why not purchase enough for a set out on the lanai. With every dollar raised, 100 percent goes right back into Bedtime Bundles.

Denise’s enthusiasm is contagious as she expressed her love for the organization, volunteers and the children it serves. “I became involved in 2008 when a friend Sue Goldberg and I answered a volunteer ad in the paper. We were amazed when we met Karen for the first time and entered her garage that was stacked from floor to roof with items. There we were packaging bundles in this tiny garage on a single white folding table. I was hooked. I’ve volunteered for Ronald McDonald Houses, a Youth Haven type of facility in Vegas and The Boys and Girls Club in Oregon. I thought I would take on some more volunteer activities, but I can honestly say Bedtime Bundles has won over my heart. My husband and I have become the pick up volunteers for bread at Publix and we just started gathering day old baked goods and sandwiches at Starbucks. I used to wonder, how much bread could one person eat when I realized if there is nothing else to eat there is no limit on how much bread you would eat a day.”

Denise travels a gravel dirt road and makes her deliveries to a Miss Lucy who has become the distributor for the neighborhood. Miss Lucy knows all of the families and keeps their pride intact when she delves out food and supplies. One drop off to Miss Lucy convinced Denise that this was her calling.

Much work went into making this event a special evening out. Families are encouraged; you don’t have to be 21 years of age. As a matter of fact you don’t even need a pet to participate! If you do bring your furry family members, feel free to dress them up in their cocktail best! As Denise puts it “Mutts and Martinis” goes to the dogs for KIDS!”

Come on out to support their only fundraiser that goes from your heart to the homes of migrant farm children. For further information contact Bedtime Bundles at 393-3415 or email at

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