Fundraiser for Betsy

Betsy Hasselquist has been a longtime friend of NightHawk-- you could even say she’s been a friend of the winery since before there was a winery. In 1992 she and her husband, Peter, met Don and Cathy and took pity on the crazy dreamers who were building a straw bale house by hand. They helped with numerous tasks related to construction and in 1994, when the home was finally finished, Peter’s band - the Blue Moon All-Stars - rocked out at the house-raising party. Sadly, Peter passed away in 2000. And even though the band members have all gone on to other projects, they reunite to honor him (usually just once a year) at the Paola Roots Festival.

So, although it was a hot summer Sunday on August 20, 2017, Betsy could think of no better place to celebrate her Aunt’s birthday than NightHawk Winery. They enjoyed our handmade wines, the shade of our walnut trees, the fluttering butterflies in the garden, and raised their glasses to another year well-lived.  

Unfortunately, August 21-22 was not as relaxing. Flash floods in Miami County dumped about 10 inches of water in a very short time, creating a disastrous and significant weather event that took everyone by surprise. The creek rose rapidly and in a matter of moments, Betsy's life changed. She was rescued via boat from her rooftop with only her dog, Digger, in her arms. When she was able to return to the house, it was ruined and so were most of her possessions. The only thing the flood didn’t destroy was her unstoppable spirit. 

So when Susan, Betsy’s sister, asked for our help with a fundraiser we didn’t hesitate. We gathered on October 1 under a brilliant sky to support our friend and have some fun along the way. Friends, neighbors, (and even winery visitors who just wanted to know what the heck was going on) gave money, drank delicious wine, had some tasty food and enjoyed the music.

Peter’s band reunited just for the occasion and it was magical to find everyone dancing on the patio, surrounding Betsy with love, support, and some really great blues! Our day of honoring Betsy bumped the amount raised for her home repair fund to over $27,750. Isn’t it amazing what people can do when they work together? And, if you want to donate there’s still time, even if you weren’t able to come celebrate with us. 

Last Saturday’s event reinforced our belief in the healing powers of great wine, live music, real food, and good people. Life can change in just one day, so take time to savor every moment.