Betsy: So, first off Natalia, tell me why the walkathon is so important to you?
Natalia: I have always wanted to help animals as they are the most vulnerable members in our society. I started fundraising when I was a teenager and I like to think that I am part of a bigger picture, that I am helping fund spay and neuter surgeries and finding pets their forever homes.
Betsy: And why is the walk so important to Algonquin Animal Hospital?
Natalia: Our former owner, Dr. Barrie Stewart, who passed away in 2014, was a big supporter of the OHS. In fact, one of the dog kennels at the shelter is named after the Prince of Wales Animal Hospital, our sister clinic. I started the team in 2013 and Dr. Stewart was very supportive of the idea, so we decided to make it a yearly tradition. Plus, we have been the animal hospital/vet clinic that has raised the most funds for two years in a row, so we hope to maintain our title.
|Algonquin Animal Hospital’s Pet Angels|
Betsy: Do you have any tricks or tips for others who are new to fundraising for this event?
Natalia: I think using the emotional appeal helps a lot. Donors like to know how their money is directly benefiting the animals in Ottawa. The Algonquin Animal Hospital’s team gives donors something in exchange. We sew bandanas and sell them at the hospital for a donation.
Betsy: What is your favourite thing to do/see on walk day?
Natalia: We get to meet so many people and animals! I remember a lady who always walks with a tiny horse. We’ve also seen some ferrets and cats in carriers. Everyone is in a good mood and walking together for a good cause. My teammates always get excited about the Puppy Picasso paw prints for dogs!
Betsy: Do you have any suggestions for keeping your team excited and encouraging them to fundraise?
Natalia: I try to get them excited by looking forward to the actual event; it’s a day when we can get together, wear our team jerseys and be a team outside our workplace.
Betsy: Woof! Is there anything you would like to say to people who have never been to the walk or run or who are considering registering?
Betsy: Thank you so much for your time, Natalia! Can’t wait to see you and your team on Sept. 11, 2016! Woof woof!