Wow, what a party! And what a walk! You know your outdoor event is off to a great start when the weather forecast is sunny and 74 degrees and there is not a cloud in the sky. We could not have asked for a more perfect day.
We had a HUGE crowd out here at the SPCA Albrecht Center for our first annual springtime Walk for Animals. The parking lot overflowed with cars and the patio was packed with partiers.
Over 100 people and their four-legged companions participated in the 1.4 mile walk, starting at the SPCA facility, winding down Hampton Avenue, across Beaufort Street, down Marlboro Street, Barnwell Avenue and back toward the SPCA via a wide path cut through a beautiful field of wildflowers.
Teams of volunteers were stationed throughout the walk route, cheering on the walkers and providing cold water for people and pets. We also had volunteers handling registration, parking, assisting with the bar & grill, and watching over the dog park. Great job, volunteers!
The live music was a huge hit with the crowd and kept the party rocking for hours after the walk. Thanks for the tunes, Bogie, Karen Gordon and Downtown Mixup!
Our bar and grill were run by a few exceptional staff members, board members and volunteers. They kept everyone fed and hydrated throughout the day. Thank you!
Donna Jean, The Balloon Queen gave our starting line the royal treatment with blue & orange balloon pillars and fun balloon animals, nice job!
The best part: nearly $10,000 was raised for the animals in our care! All thanks to fundraisers, walkers, donors, supporters, volunteers, staff members and friends of the animals.
We had several teams of walkers raising money in the weeks leading up to the event. Thank you to: Team Foxchase, Whiskey Road Foxhunters, 2016 Matilda & Farley, Ball Control, The Cute Clan, SWPF Team, The Motley Crew, Sam's Paws to Walk, Frolicking for Felines, Happy Tails, Fox Hollow Team and Paws for a Cause.
Our top fundraiser for the event was Jack Roth and his team, Walk for Lisa Hosang. Lisa Hosang was a beloved friend and supporter of the SPCA Albrecht Center and we are so grateful for the many donations made in her honor and memory.
Special thanks to Officer Alan Willing with Aiken Public Safety. Officer Willing always goes above and beyond to help in any way he can with our events and activities, both professionally and personally, and we can never tell him "thank you!" enough. Thank you, Alan!
We saw lots of familiar faces (human and canine) and lots of new ones too. If you were here, THANK YOU so much for supporting this amazing event. If you weren't here, well you missed a really good time. Don't miss the next Walk for Animals in 2017, but until then, be sure to come out to our Yappy Hours, Dog Washes, and Barkaritaville this fall. There's always something fun going on at the SPCA Albrecht Center. Check our website and Facebook page to stay current: LetLoveLive.org and Facebook.com/SPCAAlbrechtCenter.
Sarah Neikam is the Marketing Director for the SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare. She is an Aiken native and has been with the SPCA since 2012. Sarah lives in Graniteville with her husband, Tom, mother, Cheryl and three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna and Grady.