Wild & Wet Weekend

We had a wild two-part weekend, all to support Type 1 diabetes research and the Indianapolis Humane Society.

First, it was the annual JDRF Indiana Promise Gala in downtown Indy. I'd helped setup on Friday morning, one of about a dozen people who helped unload auction items from the truck and arrange in numerical order so they could be easily handed out to winning bidders on Saturday. Being black tie optional, we put on our Sunday Best and headed to the Marriott hotel in downtown Indy for the Saturday evening event, where the second floor was decorated in jungle and wildlife theory on point for the Wild For a Cure theme. More than 600 people attended, organizers said. Being that my company the Indianapolis Business Journal was one of the event sponsors, so the company got some free tickets for us and three other couples - otherwise the costly $200 per person event would probably be off limits. President of Pacers Sports & Entertainment, Jim Morris, was the Living & Giving Honoree and a local family with a 6-year-old son diagnosed with Type 1 about a year ago was the Find a Cure Family. They had a touching story, of courses, and spoke about the need to contribute for a cure.

Our complimentary dinner was outstanding as usual, and the speakers were great. Bid items brought in many thousands of dollars, with the highest-bid item being a 7-day trip to Steamboat Springs, Colorado for four people (about $11k). The 5-month old Golden Retreiver puppy named Couper went for about $3500, if memory serves. These items were off our affordability charts, but we had some pre-dinner silent auction fun by being the highest bidder on a 2-person, one-day getaway to the Cincinnatti Zoo with an overnight stay anytime this year (plus 4 free tickets to a baseball game in mid August for the Cincy Reds and Florida Marlins). Combined with our pair of $25 glasses of champaign as part of the Promise Toast fundraiser, we ended up walking out spending a "reasonable" amount that was slightly more than last year's Gala. All in the name of the JDRF's push for a cure, of course!

We endulged in the post-event coffee bar, went downstairs and sat and talked for a bit, then headed home. End of a good charitable day.

Of course, that was the  first "wild" half of the weekend. The 2nd "wet" part was Sunday...

The Indianapolis Humane Society's 7th annual Mutt Strut. Where we get to take our lovable 5-year old black lab Riley to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for a 2.5-mile trek around the famous brickyard track. However, this year we had a hitch: Rain. Lots of it.

My day began about 5 a.m., when thunder and lightening pierced my sleep. My BG came in at 103, but weather forecasts clouded the mood as storms were forecast for the rest of the day. Being a "rain or shine" event, I plugged into the social media scene for updates by @MuttStrut updates on Twitter and Facebook and saw all was on as planned. We prepped the golf umbrella and weather-proof clothing and made our way to the Mutt Strut. Once navigating the traffic and parking nightmare, we arrived to a dog and person-packed Speedway that brought out poncho-wearing dogs of all sizes. Most were saturated, and our Riley was no exception. This was completely opposite from the 2009 event, which was hot and dry and resulted in several dogs having to rest in the doggie pools spread out around the track. Instead, they had too much water this year! We loaded up on many free doggie treats and products from the booths, and then journeyed out to the track. Walked for a bit in the steady rain and took some photos. Every once in a while, Riley would shake off her wetness and be ready for more. Despite the rain, she had a great time seeing so many other dogs.

Our SUV was filled with wet dog smell on the way home, but luckily we brought a towel to dry off Riley slightly. She rested the rest of the day, as did we once getting home.

If you're interested, I've put some photos on my Flickr Page from both The Gala and Mutt Strut, so check them out! You will also notice that our D-Ninja Lance, came along for some of the festivities. We allowed him to tag along for the Mutt Strut, but didn't know he tried to come with us to the Gala. He stowed away in the car, but we discovered him. He was flipping through the booklet about auction items, getting all excited, until we told him he'd be left inside the for the night. When we came outside later, we found he'd had his own little party and apparently got drunk off little bottles of mouthwash.... He had his fun, too!

In addition to those events, it was also fun to hear that I'd continued my award-winning journalistic work by winning two awards from the state chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists - a first place for a three-part series on wrongful convictions and exonerations, plus a second place award for a story about the nuances when a baby is legally considered a "child." So, now the award wall in the home office has some more items to display for some work done in 2009! Good stuff.

Overall, it was a great weekend devoted to a pair of worthwhile causes! Now, we wait for the next Gala and Mutt Strut adventure in 2011... At least there's much to do in the meantime before then!


connie said…
It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend...despite the rain :) So happy that you had a good time!
Anonymous said…
I've been looking everywhere for your e-mail address and can't find it. So I'll leave you a comment here instead :) Wednesday makes three years since my diabetes diagnosis. I was wondering if you'd be willing to write a guest post on my blog about your diagnosis (how old you were, how it was discovered, the emotions etc.)Catch up with me on twitter is you'd like to help me out. Thanks!
Anonymous said…
That is so awesome! Glad you had fun, I'm going to go check out your Flickr pics after this comment. And CONGRATS on the awards :)

My hubby and I love the D ninja :)
Judi said…
It sounds like you had a great time. You and Suzi look so nice all dressed up. The granddog doesn't look like she minded the rain too much.
Mike Durbin said…
Glad you all had an awesome weekend, despite the rain on Sunday. I was meaning to ask you how you did BG wise with the walk around the 2.5 mile track.

And congrats on the awards!
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