** note – – we have about 100 amazing pics of this event thanks to Collin, so they’re going to be spattered all through this post! **
Greg and I are always looking for ways to do two things; stay in shape, and help rescue animals. A year or so ago, we decided we would use our Personal Training for a good cause. Of course it’s wonderful and rewarding to help people by keeping them healthy and working with them to reach their fitness goals, but we wanted more than that! Now, when we train people, we always donate a portion of their training fee to local animal rescues in need.
This whole blog really was based on that premise. Anyone who knows me know that I love to try and incorporate all the things I love into all aspects of my life! ie: rescue animals, tea, working out, wine etc. So this was a great start, being able to pair training others and donating money/raising awareness for local non profit rescues. Anyway, this is also how the ‘Planks for Paws’ event came about.
We wanted to figure out a way we could gather friends and clients, offer a killer workout, and raise lots of money and awareness for local rescues.
We decided to work with two different ones; Big and Small Rescue, and HugABull rescue.
There are so many amazing shelters in the area that it was tricky to choose just two to work with. When we started researching though, these were the two that stood out. Big and Small really resonated with me because although they are a Vancouver based rescue, they focus a lot of their efforts on high kill shelters in the US. In Canada, it is less common for animals to be euthanized (put down). In the US, this isn’t the case unfortunately, and there are so many innocent animals that are put down every day. Big and Small has done an incredible job bringing as many of these dogs as they possibly can over to Vancouver and finding them fosters and eventually homes.
HugABull was another fairly easy choice when we started our search because they focus mainly on Pitt Bulls. Our little Oaklee is part pitty, and it’s so upsetting to me how there is such a stigma on this breed. They are some of the most beautiful dogs and people just don’t seem to understand that it is NOT about the breed, but about the owner, and the training and TLC that the dog gets. HugABull works a lot with breed awareness, and does a fab job educating the public on why pitties are so wonderful! We were proud to be able to work with both of these rescues and couldn’t be happier to contribute 🙂
So.. back to the ‘Planks for Paws’ event itself.
We thought we would pair a sweaty, HIIT style bootcamp workout with a Hatha yoga class following it. This way we’re reaching a wider range of both yogi’s and hardcore workout folks alike.
A good friend of mine Hillary Keegan has her own Yoga business, and also teaches at various local Yoga studios each week.
She comes to Vega every Thursday as well and leads a class for our team. People absolutely love her – there is something about her presence that is calming yet energizing. So great! So when it came time to choose someone to lead the Yoga portion of the event, it just made sense to ask Hillary. She of course, was stoked when we asked, so the planning began!
Once we decided what we were doing and picked a date and a venue – the fun really began!
We reached out to local places that we knew would want to support what we were doing. We had generous donations from several businesses wanting to help out a great cause. Vega donated two large prize packs of Vega Sport and Vega One and Under Armour donated a mens and womens prize pack with duffle bags, socks, headbands (and hat for guys), and a full head to toe outfit including shoes!! Talk about giving back to the community! Tiesta Tea is always so great supporting events and they provided two large prize packs with lots of tea, a brewmaster and some mugs (as well as tea for the day of the event!) and Spud gave us a $50 gift card for 1 lucky winner to use (along with providing all the fruit day of). Vitasave of course wanted to be a part of giving back, as they always amazingly do – so they gave us a $50 gift card as well. Lastly, we had great donations from Lush (all your beauty needs in 1 box!) and Deep Cove Brewing generously gave us 4 different big bottles of beer, as well as one of their signature vodka blends. AMAZING! As touched upon above, we also were lucky enough to have Spud donate fresh fruit for all participants, Tiesta donate tea to make iced tea for everyone there (hydration is key. folks!) and King Coconut water supplied us with MORE than enough coconut water for everyone involved in the day.
We really were spoiled, and it was so amazing to have such a great group of businesses wanting to contribute to a good cause.
** If I was a PRO blogger, I would have been a little more organized day of, and made sure I got good pics of each and every prize that was donated. I did not. And I feel so terrible about this because it all looked so great. **
So people attending the event donated a minimum of $10 to be there, and with that they could part-take in 45 minutes of boot camp, 45 minutes of yoga. Refreshments and fresh fruit were provided for them, and they were entered to win one of our 12 donated prizes – AND they got to play with a really adorable puppy that came to hang out for the morning.
We set a goal of having at least 50 people attend the event, and we wanted to raise $1000. We also really wanted to see one pup get adopted or fostered. The support for this event was absolutely overwhelming, in the best way possible! We had just over 50 people attend and we were able to raise $1400 dollars (to split between the two rescues). As if that wasn’t amazing enough, we had a couple people sign up for fostering as well. Success!
I learned shortly after the event that one of the rescues had12 puppiescome into their care. Yes – that’s 12 in 1 litter… Bless that poor little mama pup! So for HugABull, the $700 we gave them went directly to helping care for those pups. With Big and Small Rescue, they had a lovely little Aussie Sheppard named Maddie that had a botched spay job (the vet left a wire in her abdomen!). This wire was pushing on her bladder and if not treated immediately, she could have died. So, with our event, we saved Maddie’s life!
One of the greatest parts of this event was that we all came together, combining fitness with volunteering and gave back to the community. We shared that being fit and active doesn’t necessarily mean making you better, but making the whole community better.
We were able to raise so much awareness for these two rescues that desperately need support! Many people that attended had never even heard of these rescues and all they do every day, before attending Planks for Paws.
Greg and I are so proud to be part of such a supportive community, and we look forward to our next event. Together, we can make a difference – and we did!!
We can’t thank everyone who participated and donated enough.
LOTS of love!
Andrea and Greg