I just got home from the first annual Musical Horse Aid event in Wisconsin. The bands were VERY good and I found myself wanting to buy all of their cds. I will soon be speaking to one of the groups about a song that I would love to have on the AHDF website for downloading. The groups were all very interested in helping protect the horses and did a great job of motivating the audience. The hostess of the event was from a local radio station and was very good and also did a great motivational job. There was a good deal of media surrounding the event as well, so the issue of horse slaughter got alot of attention prior to the event. Attendees got some added entertainment from some local riding drill teams who were very good and added some excitement and an equine touch. We will be adding some of the pictures I took of the groups to AHDF's website.
There were several speakers during the day from HSUS, Lazy Maple Rescue, Midwest Rescue, RACE Fund and, of course me, for AHDF and Habitat for Horses. All the speakers were interesting and did a great job of portraying the plight of the horses. I was the final speaker of the evening and the crowd seemed to listen intently to what I was saying. I got the greatest compliment after my speech when a young girl came up to me. I had been speaking about being 13 and wanting a horse so bad and that there are enough 13 year old girls (even if they are in a much older body) that want these animals. Anyway, the girl said to me "I am one of those 13 year old girls". It was very touching and made the trip worthwhile.
Now for the not so good news. It was an incredibly cold day and even colder evening. This seemed to keep most folks home. The turn out was not what the event planners had hoped. However, there were a number of donations dropped off at the gate from folks who supported the efforts but didn't want to get overwhelmed by the facts of slaughter. There were very few regular folks (those not involved with rescue or working the event) so we had few donations or sales of products. However, the silent auction appeared to have done well and somehow I ended up winning a wooden chair (I was trying to encourage bids, but I ended up being the only bidder) that we had to haul back home.
I did end up giving away one product. a very young girl came by our table and wanted one of our little stuffed New Hope horses. She was about 4 or 5 years old. Her mom told her they didn't bring enough money to buy the horse. Later I saw her and I gave her the horse after she promised to give her a good home. Her face lit up and she and that horse galloped around the rest of the day, she was so happy. She told everyone that "the ADF" lady gave her her very own pony. That was one pony we might have raised funds with, but I don't think that it could have ever made anyone else as happy as it made that child.
After the few donations of $45 and sales of $55, we earned $100. However, our costs were much higher. Give away brochures and pens $75 and trip expenses $598 (for hotel and gas). This means AHDF had a loss of $573. However, if we were able to touch those children it was worth it. I will take time to speak at any event where we can make a difference.
BTW, nobody came up to me and mentioned AHDF, so nobody won the tee shirt. So, we will have another way for someone to win it. I will be announcing that later.
If anyone would like to donate to help us make up the difference, please make your Paypal donations to President@ahdf.org or mail your donation to AHDF 1718 M St NW #191 Washington, DC 20036.