Organizing Vets on a Mission, which took place last month, was such a fantastic experience! I never realized the power of community effort until organizing something that brought so many like-minded people together. Months ago, a fellow diver and entrepreneur, Chris Butler of Butler's BBQ, contacted me though the magic of Instagram and proposed that we do something to give back. We decided to host a fundraiser for the Big Brothers and Sisters of San Diego. We chose this organization based on what they do and because of their outstanding transparency.
Our next question was where this event would take place. We realized that hosting this at a park would cost a fortune, not only for the space, but also for permits, restrooms, seating, stages, tables, etc. The most difficult aspect of throwing a fundraiser is raising money without depleting funds on the actual fundraiser. We eventually reached out to Mission Brewery. I had been to an event there earlier this year and remembered how cool and large of a space it was. When they graciously agreed to host our fundraiser, I knew that a huge piece of the planning was finished.
The next piece was the vendors. It was our goal to reach out to vendors who would really add something special to the event. Our vendors definitely did not disappoint! I follow a lot of people on Instagram and immediately turned to social media when it was time to search for a band. A group of young guys called "Freaks of the Sea" jumped right out at me. They have cool diver branding and I knew that their mellow sound would be perfect for the event! One of the biggest pieces of interest for this event was the silent auction. We had so many people donate amazing gifts for our event: gift cards, a backpack, beautiful artwork, hair products, healthy snacks, fitness passes, and so much more. It was a huge piece of the fun that day!
The day of the event, I was extremely nervous. I wanted everything to not only go smoothly, but I also wanted people to walk away hoping that this event would happen again next year. Thanks to my great partner, everyone who volunteered to help out, and all the guests who came to join in the fun, the event was a success! The vendors were awesome! Our celebrity guests, local UFC fighters Walel Watson and Liz Carmouche, and local television personality, Tabitha Lipkin, were so friendly and happy to hang out with guests. The beer from Mission Brewery was flowing, Butler's BBQ was serving delicious food, and everyone was buzzing about the prizes they bid on throughout the day! When everything was over with, we ended up raising over $3000 for Big Brothers and Sisters of San Diego. I'm looking forward to doing it all over again next year, and making it even bigger and better. Thank you all for supporting a worthy cause!