21st Annual Walk for the Animals and 5K Doggie Fun Run
As the first major event of the season, we had the privilege of working with the Humane Society of Chittenden County in planning their 21st Annual Walk for the Animals and 5K Doggie Fun Run. The 21st Annual Walk for the Animals is HSCC’s annual fundraiser that aids in funding a large portion of the shelter’s yearly expenses. We worked to push out advertising, book the vendors and entertainment, and gather the items that would be included in their much-anticipated raffle over the course of three months. In working with an amazing Development Committee, we were able to secure raffle items like Jet Blue tickets, a Burton Snowboard, and beautiful themed baskets to give away! With a week to go, we finalized schedules, checked in with the volunteers and vendors, and created the raffle baskets and goodie bags. By the time we were through, the HSCC office was stacked top to bottom with goodies and everyone was feeling excited about the big day!
The day of the Walk and the 5K was gorgeous - we couldn’t have asked for better weather! The sunshine certainly fueled the momentum and spirit of the day. Tents were quickly pitched in Battery Park, volunteers were unbelievably helpful in the set-up of each tent as well as the general flow of the event. The 5K Doggie Fun Run was first so runners began arriving to stretch and check-in early around 8am. Registration went smoothly and many of the runners were excited that they were able to do this run with their pups! The route for the 5K ran parallel to the waterfront so it proved scenic and memorable for all involved. It was wonderful to see all of the volunteers and HSCC staff lined up at the finish line to cheer on and medal all of the runners coming through.
After all of the runners had crossed the finish line, the ceremony began with a performance by the a cappella group, Root 7, comprised of singers from all over Champlain Valley, followed by the announcement of the top 5K finishers, the top three two-legged finishers and the top three “six-legged” finishers (the runners with dogs!). This certainly set an exciting tone for all those just arriving for the Walk that was starting later that morning. The Walk for the Animals drew many families and even more pups that were certainly excited to be out and about on that gorgeous Sunday morning. There were pups large and small, some in costume, and others just happy to roll in the dirt. All of the dogs received a bandana, a blue one for alumni of HSCC and a yellow one for new friends. It was heart-warming to see all of the HSCC staff overjoyed to see animals in the Walk that they recognized from the shelter - it was easy to see that these pups were well-loved and that this fundraiser was supporting such an amazing cause.
The Walk concluded with chips and salsa generously provided by Moe’s Catering as well as ice cream provided by Ben & Jerry’s for our two-legged participants and dog treats supplied by Moe’s and Trader Joe’s for our four-legged friends! There were smiles all around as the Raffle winners were announced and we said our goodbyes. We couldn’t have asked for a more successful first event of the season!