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Cheval Winery raises money to fight cancer with Breast Fest

ESCONDIDO — Cheval Winery held a fundraiser on Oct. 27 to raise money for Living Beyond Breast Cancer, an organization that provides information, community and support to people living through breast cancer. The Halloween-themed event, titled Breast Fest, had loads of orange and white pumpkins scattered about on tables and haystacks. There was also the fact that the subtitle for the event was “Save the BOObies!” Twenty percent of the event’s proceeds went to Living Beyond; the rest went to the winery.

“One of our wine hostesses is a survivor of breast cancer,” said Lisa Kelly, an employee of Cheval, a two-story winery that makes wines, mostly reds, from organic grapes grown on a 6-acre property. “And we have close friends and family that are also … affected by some form of cancer. So, we also support American Cancer Society. This (event) is something that we plan to do once a year for Living Beyond Breast Cancer.”

The event took place outdoors in Cheval’s patio area, with plenty of seating for the several-dozen event attendees, and their six-plus dogs. Country music twanged over the speakers, and someone taught several guests how to do a simple six-count line dance, which they then performed to music.

Guests helped themselves to finger foods, children (some dressed in costumes) decorated cookies and adults tasted wine inside the winery itself. Courtesy of Scott Condon, Inferno Woodfired Pizza Kitchen carted an entire outdoor pizza oven onto the property via truck to bake personal pizzas for everyone, the smoky smell of the oven wafting toward the patio in the cool fall wind (along with the smell of the horses and alpacas residing on the property). Pink Cheval attire and raffle tickets were also sold to help raise funds.

The event was also marked by a performance from Jenny Voss, a soul musician who performed three of her songs, including “Never Know” and “Honey Hips.” She described her style as mixing soul with pop and hip-hop, citing Beyoncé, Whitney Houston, Dua Lipa and H.E.R. as major inspirations.

“My grandma actually passed away from breast cancer,” Voss said. “It’s definitely in my family, so it’s definitely something that I want to help raise awareness for, for sure.” Voss had performed at Cheval multiple times beforehand, befriending Donna Kaufman.

Cheval was founded just last year by Donna “Bubba” Kaufman and her husband Randy, who were looking for somewhere to host their show-horses before they found an estate that just happened to have a winery as well. Some of Donna Kaufman’s friends have endured breast cancer.

“Their personal experience has affected me as a friend, as somebody that has … went through the journey with them, through chemotherapy,” she said. “And they have given me strength, instead of the other way around. I thought it was gonna be all about them; they gave me the strength to put on these kinds of events to help women that can’t afford the wigs and the extras for going through chemotherapy, radiation, et cetera.”

For more information on Living Beyond Breast Cancer and Cheval, go to lbbc.org and chevalwinery.com.