We couldn’t think of a better organization than The Rescue Train or event, the Race for the Rescues, to inaugurate our do-gooder category. There are a very limited number of things that could get me out of bed at 5:00 am on a Sunday morning, but to participate as a volunteer for the annual event in Pasadena, CA, I grabbed the strongest coffee available and made my way to the Rose Bowl.
On October 28th, 2008 hundreds of animal lovers congregated to participate and volunteer in the Third Annual Race For The Rescues 5k run. This fun-filled, life saving day raises funds for eight nonprofit animal rescues and holds dog and cat adoptions for two city shelters. The main event was a 5K (3 mile) run/walk along with a non-competitive 1-mile kid’s race with all registration fees going towards these great organizations. Other fun activities included a special appearance from Marley of the Marley & Me movie (see Marley with some tongue action in the photos above!), an amazing silent auction, dog and cat adoption booths, face painting for the kids, dozens of unique pet vendors and an adorable Halloween themed, dog fashion show featuring some of the special animals looking for a good home.
Besides cuddling with every dog that would have me and stalking the Silent Auction to make sure I had the winning bid for some great items from Jax and Bones and Maura Peters Candle, I spent the morning helping out at the race registration tables and award booths and pitching in wherever an extra hand was needed. My friends and I (four of us decided to volunteer together – we had a sleep over to make sure we all got up and ready on time!) spent eight hours setting up and breaking down tables, handing out t-shirts to race participants and awarding prizes to the top runners. We left the Rose Bowl, tired to the bone, but happy with of a sense of satisfaction I haven’t felt in a while. I met a ton of new, pet loving people, helped raise money for a great cause and had a blast the whole time. Who knew volunteer work could feel so effortless and rewarding!?
Best of all, the Race for the Rescues was a resounding success. Over $45,000 was raised for local rescue organizations and dozens of animals found safe, happy homes. Even better, every single cat or dog that was featured at the event was welcomed into one of the local rescue organizations so that not one dog or cat went back to the shelter to face euthanasia.
So, what can you do to get into the action? Visit the official Rescue Train site. This hard working organization is always in need of a good home to adopt or foster a pet, you can make a monetary donation (every bit helps) or view their Wish list to add one of their needed items to your holiday shopping list. Of course, if you’re not in the Los Angeles area, you can always volunteer to spend some time caring for and walking animals at one of your local animal rescue organizations.
Thanks to the beautiful (inside and out) Lisa Young, one of the founders of the Rescue Train and a dedicated advocate for all animals in need. She successfully organized another winning event (with the help of a lot of enthusiastic volunteers) and looked poised and confident the entire day. We look forward to bringing you more from this inspiring woman and her compassionate organization in the months to come.