If you have been wondering why the blog has been silent for three days, it's probably because we're all still recovering from the amazing weekend of animals, awareness and advocacy. Here are a few highlights, though there are a few of the highlights missing due to the impending unwieldiness of the collage. Perhaps a part two will come at a later date...or another person who attended the event can post about it. (Incidentally, I forgot my camera at the first night's events, so I have no photos for that collage.)
1. One Satisfied Customer
Saturday kicked off with brunch at local restaurant Marie Catrib's. Although we were expecting roughly 24 people, I think the final numbers indicated more like 50. We ate in scattered regions of the restaurant, getting to know new faces over amazing vegan brunches. This photo features Matt, a student new to veganism (and Marie's stuffed french toast!). See how happy he was before he began eating? Well, he was just as happy (if not more so) once his plate was empty.
2. It's "Chli" Time
One of the ways Splinters helped set up NEST for the evenings festivities was by cutting out a sign for the Chili Contest.
3. Spreadsheet Time
Vegucator readied the spreadsheets for the chili cookoff and the art auction. With that look of intense concentration, military-style jacket, and urban surroundings (look at that brick!), you know that some serious work was getting done.
4. Registration Rooster
Nurses, along with some help from various others, crafted the registration rooster where people would register for chili and the art auction. Vegucator decorated r.r. with the cleverly crafted cantaloupe and brussell sprout auction paddles.
5. Some of the Art
This photo contains some of the art that was up for auction. All were overwhelmed by the amount, quality, and creativity that covered the wall for the evening. The amount of money raised was staggering!
6. Dish Drying Rack
I thought this deserved its own picture. George and I struggled with and conquered the orange crate, transforming it into the dish drying rack of our dreams. It was definitely high-five worthy when the feat was accomplished.
7. Chili Time!
As crowded as this photo appears, the rest of the NEST was even more crowded. There was an overwhelming turnout for the chili cookoff--both for the competition and tasting. No one was disappointed...or left hungry. The celebrity judges of the evening deemed the Michigan Chili by Erika Jane and Susan to be the winner, with Karen's Thai Chili as the people's choice and Gwen's black bean chili as the runner up. Erika and Susan must defend the title next year--with the udder as the prize!
Overall, it was an amazing weekend and we look forward to next year. Thanks to everyone who helped set up, tear down, donated art or food or time and just plain came to the event. It wouldn't have been as successful if it was not for all of you!