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Merchants in the Chicago/Dempster area joined together last month to serve beer tastings from Sketchbook Brewery to raise funds for Blackdog All Breed Dog Rescue.

“Blackdog All Breed Dog Rescue is beyond thrilled that local stores in Evanston have chosen us to be recipients of their February fundraiser [Growlers for Growlers]. We hope this fundraiser is not just successful for the rescue, but for bringing awareness to the community regarding the increased problem with unwanted dogs,” said Megan Albright, co-founder and president of Blackdog All Breed Dog Rescue.

“I want to adopt or foster every dog I see, and since that just won’t work, I think the next best thing is to raise some money for this great organization,” said Jaime Leonardi, co-owner of Stumble & Relish Gifts. “We are lucky enough to have sketchbook Brewery right down the street and couldn’t ask for a better partner in this event.”

On the cold afternoon of Feb. 8, 11 Chicago Dempster businesses raised more than $4,500. There were tastings of Sketchbook beer and several raffle items, including a Local Love basket filled with $600 in gifts and gift certificates from local restaurants and merchants.

“Local artist Jason Castillio donated a great dog illustration that we used for the event and for the T-shirts. Customers loved the shirts,” Ms. Leonardi said.

Ms. Albright and co-owner Jennie Pollack said they were “overwhelmed. This could pay off all the current vet bills.”