bark for life

I was a volunteer for the inaugural San Diego Bark for Life on Saturday.  Bark for Life is an American Cancer Society fundraiser similar to their Relay for Life events.  But Bark, as you might guess, is dog-friendly.  In both events, fundraising teams take turns walking around a track to symbolize the continuing fight against cancer.  Various fundraising activities occur before and during the event.

setting up the agility course with Roby

A few short weeks ago, my friend Dejah told me that she had been named the event chair for Bark.  Since I've known her I have admired Dejah's ongoing commitment to community service.  It's an activity many of us know is rewarding but can neglect to make it a priority. So I did things differently this time and asked what kind of committee members she was looking for.

giving Dejah a little recognition

Many of the roles looked intimidating to me.  Seeking corporate donations, various sales-y things, etc...but one role looked perfect.  It was "team coordinator" and it involved preparing the team captains for their duties and informing them what the committee was up to.  I'm always sending emails to friends with stuff I find interesting and to schedule fun stuff so I figured that was right up my alley.

loved the flyball dogs

And I was right, mostly.  It was difficult trying to tell people what to do what it's something I've never done.  It was also different in that these people didn't know me.  So no matter how friendly I tried to be, I couldn't always get as much response as I hoped for.  To ameliorate the first concern, I decided to start my own team. The good news is I was the most well-informed team leader. I has connections. :)

Roby also started a team; for that and much more he earned a cookie

One thing teams are supposed to do is come up with a "fight back" message. I picked a fitness theme and found some facts on the benefits of fitness in fighting cancer. Then I got some help from Christine and Noodle to help design something nice. Then we printed out cards so we could hand them out to participants and onlookers.  BTW, Christine has a few more photos on her blog.

2 of my 8 facts, check the nice design!

Another thing I did is organize a chocolate tasting fundraiser/contest. I rounded up a dozen chocolates and had participants try to match the brand name to what they were tasting. A pretty fun idea if I do say so myself.

so many chocolates!

The day finally arrived during a San Diego heat wave. Luckily we were close enough to the coast that we weren't completely fried. I did get a little bit of sunburn.  The whole day came together really smoothly. And as I knew it would, it felt really good to be a part of something like this.

announcing the dollars raised, a few hundred more flowed in after this