Peer-to-peer fundraising is a key reason that our Dog Jog and 5K Run is so successful in providing vital support for the homeless animals who rely on the Richmond SPCA to save their lives. Our 12th annual event will be presented by Holiday Barn Pet Resorts on Saturday, March 15, but the fundraising got started many months ago! However, there is still time to register and get started asking your friends and family for their support of your participation in this great community event. Top fundraisers are eligible for great prizes, and all who raise $500 or more in donations will receive a special gift that will be awarded at the VIRTEXCO Awards Ceremony at noon next Saturday. See how our top individual and team fundraisers are doing at www.richmondspca.org/dogjogprizes — we so appreciate all of their remarkable support of homeless animals through their tireless fundraising!
We recently talked with Rich Terrell, who was awarded the Johnny Birkitt Hero Award in 2013, about how he got involved in fundraising for the Dog Jog and 5K Run. Rich is currently in second place overall, having raised $1,135 as a member of our alumni team, Team Belle.
Q: Which event are you registered for, the leisurely 1-mile Dog Jog with your pet, or the competitively timed 5K Run?
Rich: I am registered for both, although technically I am not doing either one! I am volunteering for the day taking photos of the runners, walkers and everyone else that comes out to make this one of the best fundraising events of the year. While I would like to run the 5k one day, I have not figured out how to be in two places at once :)
Q: When did you first participate in the Dog Jog and 5K Run? Did you fundraise your first year?
Rich: My first year participating was 2008 — I did not raise any funds that year to my recollection — I wanted to help out that day as a volunteer photographer. I was immediately hooked; I have been to every Dog Jog since that one.
Q: Was there any specific inspiration that led you to get involved in raising funds for the Richmond SPCA?
Rich: I have always loved animals, and I have always been passionate about photography. One day in 2006 I noticed on the Richmond SPCA web page that volunteer photographers were needed. That seemed like a terrific way to combine my passion for photography with my equal love of animals, especially those that are in need. I've been fortunate to maintain a relationship with, and occasionally be a contributor to the Richmond SPCA for many years. I hope for many more years to come.
Q: What have been the most effective tools in asking friends and family for support?
Rich: I start with an initial email that talks about the great work of the Richmond SPCA, and I link photos of the past several years where I have volunteered. One thing I do in the email is offer to match a certain amount of the total donations received. I think that is very effective. After that, I use an occasional Facebook post to remind people of the upcoming event and encourage people to attend. I think that is one of the most important things; to get as many people to come out as possible. I don't know anyone that would regret it — the event is so charged and full of energy.
Q: What’s your best tip for someone who is registered but might be hesitant to get involved as a fundraiser?
Rich: Don't be afraid to ask your friends and family for help. You can set an example for contributing to a very worthy non-profit organization that does a tremendous amount of good for animal welfare in the greater Richmond area. You friends and family are sure to admire you for your dedication. You might be surprised at how much support you will receive!
Q: What are you looking forward to most about March 15?
Rich: My favorite part of the whole day is interacting with people and their pets. I enjoy seeing so many smiling, happy people with their loved ones: both 2-legged and 4-legged.
View all of Rich's photos from last year's event in his 2013 Dog Jog and 5K Run set on Flickr.
Tabitha Hanes is the director of advancement of the Richmond SPCA. To read her biography or that of our other bloggers, please click here. Before posting a comment, please review our comment guidelines. Please note that our comment policy requires both your first and last name to be used as your screen name.