What would you do if your precious pet needs an emergency operation, yet you don't have the cash to pay for it?

What would you do if your precious pet needs an emergency operation, yet you don't have the cash to pay for it?

To help prevent animal lovers from getting stuck in such a scary predicament, Debbie's Fund − a Milford-based non-profit organization that raises money to support animals in a variety of ways, including funding local shelters and assisting pet owners with the cost of emergency operations for their pets when they can't afford it – has raised $250,000 since 2004. A percentage of the funds raised have helped curve the cost of said operations, allowing pet owners to breathe easier, said Debbie's Fund President and co-founder Jim Woodland, of Milford.

Raising approximately $25,000 annually, one of the substantial fundraisers that's helped Debbie's Fund stay afloat has been its yearly Wheels and Wine event, which will return for the fifth consecutive year at the Pizzadili Winery in Felton on Sunday.

The event will feature more than 300 cars from all eras, tasty wine, a wide assortment of arts vendors and live music from cover band Skinny Leg Pete. While admission will be free, any donations to Debbie's Fund would be greatly appreciated.

Driven to help animals

Attracting cars from as far south as Bel Air, Md., to at least as far north as Wilmington, there's always a cool ride or two that will tickle your fancy at Wheels and Wine, whether you're a car aficionado or fresh-faced novice.

The metallic assortment at Pizzadili will include the old school Model T, hotrods and muscle cars to exotic rides like the Lotus and Ferrari, Woodland said.

Wheels and Wine will also feature its supreme car lover and mascot, Res Q. Pal (pronounced "rescue pal"). The friendly black and white dog has a knack for getting guests to show their pearly whites.

"It's kind of cute," Woodland said. "A lot of people pose with that dog."

'People get a real kick'

Around 11:15 a.m., Skinny Leg Pete will hold it down on stage with some oldies while in costume. Skinny Leg will play three sets.

The first will be comprised of classic rock, spotlighting bands like Creedence Clearwater Revival and The Doobie Brothers, said Skinny Leg Pete frontman Sky Brady, of Georgetown.

After changing out of their button-up shirts, the guys will dress up like The Blues Brothers and perform a number of their tunes for the second set. Also during the second set, Skinny Leg will switch gears and sing some Motown classics, dressed like groups from the Motown era of the '60s and '70s.

"[For] the last song of the set, I come running out dressed like James Brown," Brady said. "It's fun. People get a real kick out of it."

The third set will see the band in surprise costumes and performing rock and funk tunes from the 1970s and '80s by bands such as Hall and Oates and the Average White Band.

Having played at the last two Wheels and Wine charities, Brady says he and the guys see the event as much more than just another gig.

"I like to give back," Brady said. "We enjoy making people happy and we're trying to help out when we can."


WHAT Fifth annual Wheels and Wine

WHEN 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday

WHERE Pizzadili Winery, 1683 Peach Basket Road, Felton

COST Free admission, but donations are greatly appreciated

PROCEEDS The event will benefit Debbie's Fund, a Milford-based charity organization that supports animals

INFO Visit dlsm.org or call Jim Woodland at 424-1504