Behind the Scenes with the Animal Place Fun(d)raiser

Cast & Credits

How did an idea for a vegan pizza party sprout into $2,299 for Animal Place?  Meet the cast and crew behind the deliciously successful vegan pizza party & boutique fun(d)raiser for Animal Place and learn how it all happened.  You can read full details about the fun(d)raiser itself in our earlier blog post

BAVeg 2007 Animal Place TourTammy

Photo: Tammy with Animal Place’s Marji Beach, Education Coordinator

I’ve been a supporter of Animal Place for many years, and that includes introducing new folks to Animal Place.  For the last four years, I’ve been bringing a BAVeg group of 25-26 people to Animal Place.  We enjoy a farm tour and have a Vegan Food Party afterwards.  In fact, this is one of our most popular events.

It was while emailing with Kim at Animal Place about our April 2008 tour that I first learned they were moving.  Anyways, while the initial idea for a fundraiser was mine, good ideas aren’t worth anything unless there are good people to execute them.  Enter Mila, Mike and Roni.

Amazingly, Roni, Mila, Mike and I have never worked together before.  I only met Roni once before at a Vegan Food Party awhile back and Mila & Mike in April. Roni and Mila & Mike had never met before.  But our common desire to support Animal Place brought us together.



When Tammy asked me if I would be interested in hosting a fundraiser for the Animal Place, my reply was, “I’d do anything for Animal Place”. I donate to them personally and also give 10% of my sales from Daisy Wares each month. I knew this was a great opportunity and honor to raise funds for their big move so I turned to my friends on Etsy.

Etsy is made up of all kinds of artists who sell their handmade items. I belong to a few Vegan groups on Etsy and asked them to donate any Vegan items they could to help raise funds at our event. You would not believe the turnout. It was wonderful seeing everyone come together to donate. I was getting donated items in the mail each day from Vegan animal lovers from all parts of the world.

The event was quite a magical night! Kim Sturla, Executive Director & Co-Founder put on a great & informative presentation. And had a question/answer segment. Though we had a bit of a pizza snafu, everything turned out so wonderful in the end. We raised a total of $2299.30.  And this is all thanks for the many wonderful people who support animals, support Animal Place and who act as the voice of all the animals who needs us. A big thank you from all of us!



Photo: Mike (left, front) and Mila (right, front) on the hayride into Animal Place, Vacaville

Back in April was the first time I heard of Animal Place, and the first Bay Area Vegetarians event my husband and I attended.  Tammy sent out a follow-up email to find volunteers for a fundraiser.

So, in late April, Tammy and I met at the Ferry Building for lunch and mulled over ideas. With Tammy busy with ALL aspects of BAVeg & working full-time and me, never having worked on a fundraiser before, we were a bit at a loss in hammering out a plan. (But we did come up with some good ideas that you might see in future events or fundraisers). Then Roni came on board in early May and she really got the ball rolling in a short time. She acted as the project manager, got her Vegan Etsy group to donate merchandise and handled all the logistics.

Tammy’s experience with events guided us on cost, attendance and kept remembering all the little things we overlooked. She also offered BAVeg’s donation matching for the event

My husband and I being more the corporate lackey types 🙂 took on soliciting pizza donors, administration and paperwork (yup, printing and cutting tickets 🙂 ).

Getting a hold of restaurant owners is quite a challenge as we soon found out.  When we finally did get a hold of a few decision makers, the reactions ranged from regret that they couldn’t participate due to finances to fleeing when the words “Farm Animal Sanctuary” came up.

The one place that consistently showed interest and support was Fellini Restaurant.  They offered us 10 of their delicious vegan pizzas and a huge portion of their Vegan Caesar Sorrento salad.  They said that the veg community has supported them so much over the years that they wanted to give back. They also receive numerous requests for donations, so they are selective about whom they can donate to.  Their donation was greatly appreciated as they provided 13 pizzas at 7 PM during their dinner rush.  The place was packed when we arrived to pick up the pizzas, yet the staff made it a priority to get our food out quickly.

Up until the weekend before the event we all had concerns about having a weeknight event, and the attendance.  We estimated earlier in the day that a max of 35 to 38 people would show up.  You proved us wrong with 50+ attendees!!

From our dubious beginning at the Ferry Building to the final donation count of $2299+ thanks to everyone that volunteered, donated, (especially the venue owner of D. King Gallery), and every last one of you that came out to support Animal Place.

Just goes to show you: never underestimate the veg*n community, their compassion and their generosity!

Extra Credit

Thanks to Elizabeth for your help with tickets, to Chris for managing the drinks, to John who went for the extra pizzas when the line of people coming to the event didn’t seem to get any shorter, to Dennis for being a gracious site host, intuitively pitching in with help throughout the event, and just being so darn nice … and also Thank You to the folks who spontaneously pitched in at the end to help us cleanup.

Thanks to Roni & John for donating the $60 Gift Certificate for the special door prize drawing for those who prepaid their tickets, and to Mike and Mila for donating three of the extra vegan pizzas we needed.

To the many people who contributed to the fun(d)raising success of this event:  thank you!

Now, the vegan dog biscuits

Okay, we did promise to spill the beans about this..  Maybe Kim was only teasing us, but she did say she would try the vegan dog biscuits (there goes that myth that vegans are picky eaters).  🙂


  1. Molly says:

    I’m so glad that this was such a success!

Powered by InterServer