Back in July, I finally landed my first job in Hawaii. My entire job at the Hawaiian Humane Society (HHS) was to help plan their biggest fundraiser of the year: PetWalk. This event provides a large chunk of the money used to run the shelter yearly. It costs $18,000 per day to run HHS. I hope that number shocks you as much as it did me. I was genuinely touched by the family and friends who donated to my fundraising page for this event. For the past three months, I’ve been working toward one day: October 11th. It wasn’t always easy. There were a lot of times it wasn’t even fun. But sometimes it really was and Sunday was one of those days.
PetWalk is a charity walk where people in the community and their pets come together at Magic Island to celebrate their hard work raising funds for HHS. Everyone has the option to walk a long or short course with their pet or just hang out and enjoy all the fun in our vendor and sponsor tents. This year PetWalk’s 25th anniversary celebration featured great music by Christian Yrizarry, games like an agility course by Poi Dogs Day Care and Boarding, and ono treats for animals and humans alike.
The weeks leading up to PetWalk were an uphill climb. I worked 21 hours in two days this weekend but it was so worth it to see the event in action. (Silver linings included my first ride in a golf cart and seeing a real-life quidditch game). I guess this is what event planning is all about – the rush of seeing the thing you worked so hard on come together. It was even better seeing Trev and Hobbes there having a blast. They walked the short course, splashed around at the doggie cool down station, and took part in an impromptu Lab beach party. The next day I came into the office to find a fruit bouquet (my favorite kind!) congratulating me on my hard work. My husband truly is the best.
One thing that really struck me is the feedback we got after the event. Person after person told us how well coordinated PetWalk was, which isn’t a response I had anticipated. It’s just not something you usually hear. People comment on how fun or creative an event is but they rarely notice the coordination and organization. It felt great to know people recognized our hard work behind the scenes. I am proud to have helped HHS raise over $270,000 for Oahu’s animals in need.