The Wing Spur fundraiser is finally over as of Thursday night and we are still EX-HAUST-ED. It will be great to get our life back. After more than 10 weeks planning and the stressors of coordinating a very public event where you don't know how many people will show up, so you aren't sure how much food to order, and the crates of wine don't come through until noon the day of the event, and the thank-you poster you need to make and laminate can't be finished until all the sponsor logos come through and they don't, so we must search them out on-line, and on and on and on...
Family tragedy prevented us from hosting our picnic in the spring, summer was too hot and miserable, and my surgery demands prevented anything early fall, and this is the week we picked based on every board member's schedule as well as ours. But I missed our sweet relatively easy picnic. Despite a ton of media coverage -- TV, radio, print, internet -- with another TV station coming this week to follow-up -- we were disheartened by the turn-out.
We sent hundreds of snail mail and internet invites and our board members sent some as well, and we had hoped to interest people who learned of the Sanctuary through the media coverage...but the grand number for the night was 50. We were shooting for 100. More than that would have exceeded expectations. Most who came had come to our picnics and were faithful supporters and a few were new and curious after hearing about it. We owe them all a huge thank you.
The night was a lot of fun. The venue was fantastic, the bartender was efficient. HK, our friend, is an accomplished guitar player, writer, and artist, and truly a soulful person who graciously supplied light musical accompaniment to the reception as people grazed the catered food, which was delicious, and the caterers gave us a real bargain as a contribution to the cause. The theater is new, clean, and beautiful. The slide show and our video were both well received, and the documentary film wonderful, if hard to watch. Excy gave a short speech before and answered questions after.
We gambled and went out on a limb in the hopes of generating more community involvement and donors, and despite media input it just didn't work out. So now we know. The costs involved in putting it on put us behind what we need to get through the winter, but we can pay the hay bill off in full, even if we can't get them through the entire winter. Our hay man will be running out shortly and that means buying grain and alfalfa and we don't have the money. We need meds for vaccinations. So we will still need to put on the fundraiser this spring.
The picnic is special. It is a lot of work for the cooks (usually me with a few helpers if we can't get the Redneck Gourmets to cook their fantastic Dutch oven cooking) -- and it's always fun to eat under the Pavilion and watch the wild ones come right up to us and put on a show.
AR has a lot of wealthy horse people, but they just don't seem to care about mustangs. Some people have sniffed that they are 'undistinguished.' Mustangs may not be thoroughbreds or race horses, many are small in stature, and I guess you could argue they are plain, but to a one, they are guileless, smart, strong, and loyal to their band.
What is happening to them is a painful reminder of one of the darkest chapters in this nation's history.The way these horses are being hunted down and removed from their land, with many taken to slaughter and the protection bill under repeal to open US slaughter-houses, and females being sterilized, means that some day, probably in just a decade or so, the last true vestige of the American west will be a side-show or a memory. Some child not yet born but in the not-to-distant future will ask their parent what the Mustang car is named for and they will be told there were once wild horses that roamed the west and changed the lives of the Plains Indians until they, too, were beaten down and almost eradicated because people and the government wanted the land that was once their home.