Sometimes you offer to step out of your comfort zone at work because you want to show off your gumption and go above and beyond in the call of duty. And sometimes you do it because there is good beer involved. The latter was the case this past Tuesday, when I left the world of Community Programs (although really in name only, as I was still technically participating in a program with/for the community) to work at one of our Development Department’s biggest fundraisers of the year: Pints for Pets!
If you’re a fan of craft beer, there’s a good chance that you’ve heard of Revolution Brewing, which is one of Chicago’s premier breweries and the creators of delicious beverages like the Anti-Hero IPA, Eugene Porter, and Fist City. As part of a larger effort to expand our fundraising efforts, create new partnerships with notable Chicago businesses, and reach out to new demographics of potential donors, our Development team (led by the Events Manager) established this brand new event where for $40, patrons got unlimited access to Revolution’s five “core” house beers from the bar, as well as all-you-can-eat buffet style appetizers from the kitchen – all for two full hours.
My job that evening (after helping a little with setup because I wanted a ride over there) was to work at the check-in booth with one of the many volunteers who had signed up to help. It was ultimately a pretty simple task that required greeting people as they entered the upstairs lounge at the Revolution Brewpub (located in the city’s Logan Square neighborhood), getting their names, checking them off of the list, and putting a paper wristband on them so that they can enter and claim their food and drink. The fun part of the job was getting to be the first stop for people who all seemed to be very excited about the event and getting to engage a bit with supporters of ours. Unlike most people in our department, for whom public speaking is sort of par for the course with regards to their positions, I am not naturally fond of talking in front of big crowds (though I will do it when it is required of me). I much prefer smaller scale interactions with just one or a few people; I’m always more at ease and really thrive in these scenarios (part of why I love my job, because most of my outreach work is done at networking events where you experience a high number of smaller interactions). So the way I saw it, the work mostly consisted of meeting a bunch of our wonderful supporters.
It was only a two-hour event, so the night sort of flew by. The first hour, especially, because for 45 minutes there was pretty much a constant stream of people entering the room that needed to be checked in. Obviously, in order for the price of admission to be worthwhile, most people tried to get there for at least an hour, so the second half of the night was much more laid back. There were inevitably still a few people left to check in, but after 7:00 p.m., my primary responsibility became monitoring the cash box and providing change for the volunteers that were walking around and selling raffle tickets. Afterwards, I enjoyed an Anti-Hero and headed home.
That’s not all, though. Last week was literally event-full, as Saturday, October 24 was our big adoption event held in conjunction (and funded by) the automobile manufacturer Subaru. The company generously donated $10,000 to the Society, largely to cover the costs of any animals (of any age) adopted that day. This means that for adopters coming in to get a new furry friend, they did not have to pay a single cent in adoption fees.
I did not have to work at the event itself, but Subaru did request that we organize a little promotional event the day before in the form of a Puppy Parade to our favorite destination location: the Prudential Plaza on the corner of Randolph Street and Michigan Avenue. Even The MIX 101.9 got involved to promote the adoption event and Puppy Parade. This ended up being the largest Puppy Parade of the year (and one of the largest we’ve ever done), with 7 dogs, over 10 staff members and volunteers, and easily over 100 people waiting for us at the Plaza when we arrived. Luckily (or maybe not, depending on the reasons behind it), it has been an uncommonly warm October here in Chicago, so we were all able to get away with wearing sweaters and enjoyed a somewhat grey, but ultimately pleasant hour outdoors with some of our favorite dogs.
By the end of Saturday, we had found forever homes for 44 cats and dogs, all with their adoption fees waived. Our second successful adoption event of the year, and a great way to cap off a fun week here at The Anti-Cruelty Society! A special thanks to Subaru, The MIX, Revolution Brewing, and everyone who made this week possible.