What a day.
And what an evening before! Holy sponsorships!
The Walk for Farm Animals, which takes place each fall in several U.S. and Canadian cities, benefits Farm Sanctuary, which has two locations in California and one in Watkins Glen, New York. As you may remember, Ryan and I took a little trip to the New York sanctuary this past July, and I blogged about it here, here, and here. It's a wonderful refuge for farmed animals who have been rescued from abuse and neglect. Which sounds sad and depressing. But it's surprisingly not. Both the animals and the people are brimming with happiness, and not in a hippy-dippy way. As I'd mentioned earlier, if you happen to eat animal meat and other animal products, you won't feel hated here. Instead, you'll get a chance to connect to animals that so many of us think of as commodities, and you'll find yourself amazed at their varied personalities. Goats will smother you with love and demand head rubs. And then the wheels start turning on their own as you begin to quietly consider ideas that may have lain dormant for years.
Boston's walk was one of the first of many, and I'd been looking for sponsors since early August. By the eve of my walk, I'd received just over $500 in sponsorships from generous friends, family, blog readers, and even super-secret anonymous donors. (I love a good mystery.) But I was only halfway to my goal. I decided to pull out all the stops and sent out massive emails and facebook posts to everyone. And lo and behold, the money kept rolling in. (Any Evita fans can hum along now.) When I woke up early Saturday morning, I was awed to see that the amount donated was exactly $1,000. I skipped into our guest bedroom (we'd been painting our master bedroom) and excitedly told my hubby the news, in the same squeal-y manner of a kid on Christmas morning running into darkened bedrooms, whispering frantically, "Wake up!"
We arrived at Boston Common a little before 10 am. Though terrible storms (even tornadoes!) were forecast, my raingear was for naught. It was an absolutely lovely, warm and ultimately sunny morning. There were about 80 or so people walking, several of whom brought their dogs along. One of the first people we met had rescued his dog Max from a shelter, after the dog had been living in someone's basement for months as a puppy, with zero company, human or otherwise. Despite this and despite being in the shelter for a long time, Max was an absolute sweetheart. He won over many hearts that day.
|Max, ever the happy dog.|
|I didn't get to meet this adorable dog, but it looks like Ryan did.|
There were raffle prizes, lots of yummy vegan goodies donated from Whole Foods and other fine establishments, face-painting for the kiddos, lovely music, and a cow and a pig. (Not real, but wonderful nonetheless.)
|Pig and cow taking a much needed break. (It was warm out, and those costumes were like extra cozy robes. Not what you want to be wearing in the city on a muggy day.) I love this shot, though. :)|
Before walking, walkers from Fitness Together Belmont got everybody warmed up. We got a great video of this which I can't seem to get to load right. I'll add it later if I can figure it out. But the vision of the cow and pig warming up had me snorting.
A delightful surprise was that a friend from high school, Parm, showed up with her daughter Simi. Parm's sister, Tej, and I were close in high school, having long ago bonded over musical tastes and a love of drawing. I hadn't seen Parm since 1988. Wild! (She looks exactly the same, by the way. She and her Tej are gorgeous. And they apparently have a Dorian Gray thing going on.) Simi was probably one of the neatest kids I'd ever met. I desperately want her to meet my nieces, as I think they'd all become fast friends. She's one of those fun kids you can have a really deep discussion with and come away feeling more enlightened. As Dr. Seuss would say, "that kid is going to move mountains." I hope to meet her brother someday too, as I heard he is also spectacular.
|Me, Simi, and Parm|
|Simi goes for the minimalist face-paint look. A classic.|
|A perfect shirt for the walk! (Isn't she beautiful?)|
|She was a real lover of animals. I think she may have been discussing her run-in with dolphins here. I can see why her Aunt Tej loves hanging out with her.|
Here is the whole gang of walkers, dogs included! Incidentally, the walk had its own photographer milling about, and he took some great shots. One of the published photos was of the three of us and it became the official photo that Farm Sanctuary sent out to its followers! If you are on Facebook, just look up Boston Walk for Farm Animals, and you can see all the images.
When we got back from the walk, raffle prizes were drawn and I won a $25 gift card to Life Alive in Cambridge! Woo-hoo! Ryan and I will be going some weekend soon to try this vegan eatery out. I've only heard great things.
Finally, I would like to thank all the people who sponsored me on the walk! As promised here is my mini-sandwich board, extolling the many virtues of some very cool people. Your generosity has helped many animals currently at Farm Sanctuary enjoy lives without fear, and it will help countless others who are in misery now, not knowing that their lives are about to take a wonderful turn for the better.