I can’t tell you how excited I am for Puppies and Planks!!! It’s been a lot of intense work to put on an outdoor festival (hmm why didn’t I realize that obvious fact!!??) and the journey has been full of obstacles telling me to quit, but I’m finally seeing it come together.
This all started last summer when I got the idea to put on a charity festival to raise awareness for dog adoption. Bringing my lil baby angel Sir George into my life has changed it in ways I never expected. Sir taught me to be more compassionate, to forgive more readily, and to honestly be WAY more chill! After all, it’s hard to dwell on the bad stuff when you have an adorable pup looking up at you with his irresistible puppy dog eyes!!
It’s really weird, but as my life gets more intense and I have less and less time, Sir knows how to slow it down. I don’t know how he does it, but when I pet him, hug him, and love him – time expands. I can’t quite explain it.
So umm, simply put, Sir’s love inspired me to put on a whole festival for him all the doggies in the land.
I’m looking at the statement now, shaking my head, (as we are only 15 days away from show time and I’m dying on the daily) and I’m asking myself some serious questions about the extremity of my love language.
Anyway you guys, it took A LOT to get to this point. So I am grateful I am even able to announce Puppies & Planks is happening on National Puppy Day, March 23…because just about 1 month ago, there was NO WAY it was going to happen.
The goal was to create this unforgettable experience for fitness lovers, dog lovers, and dogs in the community – all with the purpose of raising awareness for dog adoption. I was thinking we could kick off the day with a 3K Dog Walk, then immerse ourselves in top-notch fitness classes taught by my favorite LA instructors and some of my amazing YouTube fitness friends! Then afterwards we could cuddle adoptable pups, walk the shopping village with some of the coolest health, wellness, and doggy brands, have our dogs play in the pup carnival area, we could take pics at aesthetic Instagram stations, and then picnic on the grass after getting lunch at the healthy food trucks!!!
Doesn’t that sounds like the best time ever!?
So immediately, I started researching brands that loved animals. Then I researched local LA dog shelters. I asked my fitness instructor friends if they would want to teach. My friends were like YASSSSSS! So I put together a deck, thinking this would be easy peasy lemon squeezy.
I was SO WRONG.
After sending out hundreds of emails, getting on numerous phone calls, and pitching so many people, several months went by and NOT ONE organization was had signed on. It was most heartbreaking when even the dog shelters didn’t want to be a part of it! It was really weird and almost backwards at points. There was a particular shelter that did not want to bring their dogs out to the event to get adopted unless we paid them thousands of dollars. I had tried to explain that we’d be donating 100% of our ticket proceeds to them, but they still wanted the money up front. So after that phone call – I really felt heartbroken, and like this wasn’t something I should be involved in.
At this point, I had given myself the deadline of Dec 2018 as our we-need-to-stop-trying deadline. After Christmas had passed, I told my event planner Linda that we needed to seriously stop. But she told me no. She told me to not give up just yet. She said “Give it one more month Cassey.”
To be 100% honest with you, I had completely lost hope at the end of December. I didn’t want to invest more time, energy, or money into this thing that clearly no one wanted to be a part of.
It’s the very moment when you’re about to give up, but don’t, that the magic happens.
The VERY last week of January, we secured our incredible title sponsor – PETCO!!! WHHAAAAAA!!!????? I CRIED.
You guys. Petco was my dream sponsor. They were on my vision board for the event from day 1. After numerous phone calls and emails with their marketing team, serendipitously meeting their CMO in person at a conference (and trying to casually pitch him the idea), and then just praying to the universe…they came on board. And they SAVED US! I feel so lucky, because had Petco not partnered with Puppies & Planks, I don’t think I would EVER attempt to put on this festival again. They saved Puppies & Planks, and now together, we’re going FULL SPEED.
Above are just some of my amazing friends that will be teaching at Puppies & Planks! From left to right, it’s Anna Victoria who will be leading the warm-up before the 3K Dog Walk, The Fitness Marshall who’s gonna teach you how to dance like you’re in a music video, me who will POP Pilates your abs to death, my lil sis Jackelyn who will stretch your body with her cool yoga class, and Joseph C0rella who will teach you how to dance like a Broadway star with 567Broadway! Not pictured, but you’ll also get to take Ruff Yoga with CRUNCH (aka yoga with your dog) and also Luke Milton’s HIIT class from Training Mate!
You can grab a fitness ticket here.
AHHH!!!!! You guys I CANNOT BELIEVE that it is FINALLY happening!!! General Admission is FREE! So, if you live in the Southern CA area, please please please can you come out to support!!?? Invite all your friends and fam. I’d love to see you.
You can grab a free ticket here.
I’ll be teaching POP Pilates at 10:30am that day at Los Angeles State Historic Park, but will be hanging out afterwards so lots of time to meet and chill! If you want to take any of the fitness classes, it is a $25 donation for an all-access pass and 100% of the ticket sales will be donated to LA Animal Services and other local rescues! (Yes, some finally came on board!) The rescues will be bringing their doggies to the event so you can meet them and maybe even adopt them on site!
If you’re not able to come…there are 2 other ways you can help out!
#1. Purchase a charity festival shirt!
100% of the profits from this sales of these 4 shirts will be used to pay for the hardworking staff and the hard production costs of putting on the festival. The sponsorships unfortunately don’t cover all the costs, so we are fundraising! The navy shirt and the coral shirt are unisex, so feel free to grab one for the boyfriends or hubs too! You can find these on popflexactive.com.
#2. Take the #puppiesandplankschallenge!
If you have a small dog, big dog, old dog or even a stuffed animal dog toy, take the #puppiesandplankschallenge to raise awareness for the Puppies & Planks Festival and to raise awareness for dog adoption! Then tag 5 friends who either love dogs or have a dog to join in. Let’s spread this and make it a movement! Please tag @blogilates and @puppiesnplanksfest so I can see your posts 🙂
I can’t believe this is happening!!! Here are the deets:
Saturday, March 23, 2019
3K Dog Walk begins at 8AM
Los Angeles State Historic Park
1245 North Spring Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
We are also looking for volunteers, so if you or your school club or organization are interested in helping out, please email Linda@blogilates.com. Thanks so much you guys!!!