Hello, blog. I have missed you! I have had a long and interesting week, y'all. I came down with a cold at the start of the week and it totally put a kibash on my plans for participating fully in the Vegan Mofo festivities. I just didn't have it in me to come home after 9 hours at work to play with new recipes, edit photos, or sit at the PC and write. I really apologize, but I wanted to get better in time for Saturday and the only way to do that was to get lots of sleep and concentrate on being well.
Saturday was, of course, Austin's Walk for Farm Animals to benefit Farm Sanctuary. I first heard about the walk while visiting Conscious Cravings one night for dinner. It sounded like a fun time and Chris and I signed up a few weeks later. We decided to make a team and encourage our friends and coworkers to join. We ended up with five people on our team (me, Chris, Jen, Kasey, and Eric) and I had set our goal to raise $250 for the farm animals.
I did a few different things in order to drum up support. I asked family members and former coworkers via the Internet for donations. I also offered to make cookies for some of them in exchange for donations. In the end, I ended up raising $130. But the biggest fundraiser on the team was Eric, who raised over $300! Altogether, our total was $500. I am so appreciative for the efforts of my team members, friends, and family, and especially thankful and impressed with Eric's contributions. After all of our efforts prior to the big day, the event took place at Pease Park, a popular place that hosts other events as well as casual fun. Chris and I almost didn't find a place to park as there isn't a parking lot to speak of, but we managed to squeeze between two cars under a bridge and scampered on over to the registration desk to check in.
We received green rubber wristbands and entered two of the many raffles provided by area businesses while we were there. After that, Chris and I wandered around, introduced ourselves to Eric and to everyone else. A yoga warmup came next, which was actually very fun and invigorating. And after a few words from the organizers, the walk began a little bit after 11am.
Our fairly sizable group sauntered on along Lamar Boulevard, waving our signs with pride and making a spectacle- what with a horse with short legs leading the way, all of our dogs, and a little pig in a pet stroller! :-) We couldn't have been discreet if we'd have tried.
Getting to meet everyone and socializing with each other throughout the walk was fun. Everyone was in a great mood and seemed to be enjoying themselves despite the colder temperature. The whole gang was super nice and full of energy.
We arrived back at the park just before 1pm and were treated to snacks provided by locally based companies including Mr. Fruit Cup, Happy Vegan Bakery, and Cornucopia. Big Bald Mike spoke while we recuperated, sharing the story of how he became one of the world's strongest vegans. We also heard from the organizers of the 24th Annual Lonestar Vegetarian Chili Cookoff which will be taking place on November 11th at the 6701 Burnet Road Market. They're still looking for participants, by the way! If you make a mean chili, you should consider entering! And the day finished with picking the raffle prize winners. One of our tickets was picked to win a $50 gift certificate to Mother's Cafe and Garden, which is one of our favorite restaurants in Austin.
It was such a great day and I'm looking forward to doing it again next year!
Thank you again to everyone who helped and donated and participated. I know I am grateful and I'm pretty sure that the farm animals who'll be benefiting from the $5,000 the Austin event raised are grateful as well!
If you'd like to see some more photos, check out the slideshow below.