It is a huge undertaking: hosting 1,000+ members of the celiac community for a big fundraising event. And on May 15th it happened! A record number 1,300+ participants came to the 9th Annual Walk/Run for Celiac Disease in the Twin Cities this year! And we raised $46,700 in one day for the University of Maryland Baltimore’s Center for Celiac Research.
I am so happy! As many of you know I not only have this blog but I am the coordinator for this event, which means I’m working on the brochure layout, food permits, website updates, donation receipts, marketing, organizing of door prizes and more. And months of planning comes down to what happens between 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. the day of the event. All you wonder about before is — “Will it all work out?” And all you say after is, “Thankfully it did”!
It is tough doing this work!
Biggest Headache: Food permits! It can be very challenging to get all of the companies who want to be vendors at your event permitted and ready to go on time! Every year we get it done, but man, it can be tough. And this year the Departments of Health and Agriculture both came to pay us a visit on Saturday. I am pleased to say it all worked out great! But it can be a challenge to do it all.
Biggest Surprise: Within the last 1o days I got commitments from a slew of new companies who wanted to take part in this event any way possible! I was able to squeeze them in the food fair.
Most Awkward: Asking for money. Whether it is from companies when you need sponsors or from people who attend the event it is weird to keep asking for money.
Item you have the least control over: the weather!!!! I am so glad I didn’t worry about it this year. The weather was crud for about 10 days leading up to the event, and as predicted all week it cleared up the Friday before, and Saturday was glorious!! We couldn’t have asked for better weather. In fact we have our event this particular weekend (as opposed to he first weekend in May when many other UMB celiac walks are), because early May is so unpredictable. And yes, it was this year too.
Best Feeling: When it all comes together!
Best Moment when you know it’s all worthwhile: When new families arrive and tell you how thankful they are that we had this event for them.
Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped make this happen! We can’t wait to have this again next year for our 10-year-anniversary!