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ILYSM Ep. 47: Beth Bellanti on philanthropy and dog love at Tito’s Vodka

Tito’s Handmade Vodka launched more than 20 years ago and is now one of the country’s most beloved spirit brands, and in this week’s “I Love You So Much: The Austin360 Podcast,” hosts Tolly Moseley and Addie Broyles chat with Austinite Beth Bellanti, who has helped expand the company’s philanthropic efforts through her Vodka for Dog People program.

Bellanti, who started as founder Tito Beveridge’s first marketing manager, has always been a dog lover. About seven years ago, she started telling stories on the company’s website about the rescue dogs that would wander onto the distillery’s property and also was hosting community events for other people who would do anything for their four-legged friends.

Now, it’s her full-time job to help animals across the country, from pets who are affected by natural disasters to shelters that need a hand renovating their facilities. In this week’s episode, she talked about how becoming a philanthropy-first business has shifted the company’s work culture.

If you haven’t yet seen “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?,” make sure you bring tissues when you go. Features editor Sharon Chapman joined Addie and fellow co-host Omar L. Gallaga to talk about how Fred Rogers influenced American culture when he was a regular fixture on television and why watching the movie is such a powerful experience, even if you didn’t watch his popular children’s show.

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In our Toast segment, where the hosts share anything they are interested in or enjoying right now, Omar shared his love of “Overcooked,” a new multiplayer game that challenges you to run a restaurant without losing your cool. Addie was surprised by how good the chilaquiles were on a recent visit to the Alamo Drafthouse, and Tolly recommended a therapy podcast called “Other People’s Problems.”

Find our episode archive and other podcast info at our home page or on Twitter @LoveAustin360.

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