All kinds! We like to tailor these events to the individual organizers as much as possible. In the past, we’ve had walks at zoos, and people are able to stroll around the park looking at animals; we’ve done pet-friendly walks with animal rescue organizations involved; some walks include balloon twisters and face painters for kids (and adults!); raffles and silent auctions; wheelchair basketball demonstrations; and much more!
It’s important to note that while we call this event a Walk-Run-N-Roll, participation in any activity is completely optional/voluntary. We want to make sure everyone who attends feels comfortable and knows they aren’t required to walk or run a 5k.
You might also want to provide food and beverages. It’s a good idea to ask local businesses (coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants, etc.) to donate goods or gift cards. At the 2018 Ohio Walk-Run-N-Roll, the organizers used gift cards from a grocery store to buy ingredients to make blue cupcakes! In Arizona, they had a hot dog vendor; Massachusetts had Texas Roadhouse come out and provide warm food on a cold, rainy day; and Illinois got PepsiCo to donate snacks from their subsidiary companies.
One of our walk organizers suggested asking local businesses and vendors to sign up for a table at the walk and donate a portion of their sales (or a raffle prize) to SRNA. Walk participants can shop, enter to win prizes, and support local businesses!
As mentioned before, SRNA will provide a budget (see below for budget information) for the walk for shirts, refreshments, and other costs, but all purchases much be approved beforehand. It’s important to remember that these are fundraising events, in addition to awareness events, so the more money spent reduces the amount that goes towards research, programming, etc. This is why sponsorships and in-kind donations are important to the overall success of the event.